The ‘Good Samaritan at Roma’

The ‘Good Samaritan at Roma’

ROMA – Sello Joshua Ramokanate enrolled at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) in hopes of working with mental health patients.
He does more than that now, even though he is yet to complete his studies. Passionate about his vocation, Ramokanate is now taking care of mental health patients – literally.

For him, real love is more than just words. It is action. And the way he has been sacrificing for mental health patients is evidence of Ramokanate’s love for not just his job, but the patients he works with. Where others of his age are busy thinking about how they can improve their own lives and show off to their peers, Ramokanate has been busy trying to make the lives of mental health patients better.

He has been organising for the provision of clothing for mental health patients in dire need of such help. At first, his time at Mohlomi Hospital was for work and study as an attaché. After the suffering of patients touched his heart, he decided to do something about it.
The result: four truckloads of clothing.

Thus he became a Good Samaritan in an age where most folk think just about their welfare in a “me-first generation” that the world has developed into. Despite being at the hospital as a part of his studies, he understood the reality of the nursing profession.
“When you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life, or a life will touch you,” he said.
He is right. And he decided to act rather than just talk.

“I realised that as much as patients got three meals a day at the hospital, the kind of clothing available was not enough or in good condition for them,” said Ramokanate, explaining why he decided to embark on his campaign. Due to a meager budget, the Department of Mental Health is bedeviled by numerous challenges making it difficult to adequately care for patients. “Struck by my observations, I decided to inform my Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing lecturer who is now my research project supervisor, Dr Lineo Tsekoa for advice,” he said.
Dr Tsekoa loved the idea.

“But little did I notice that the burning desire to push and ensure execution of this initiative was greater in me than I thought,” he said.
He was literally consumed with the passion. But resources seemed a barrier. The first step was to contact his church and some dignitaries, including the respected Judge ‘Maseforo Mahase and the ex-Minister of Foreign affairs, Mr Mohlabi Tsekoa.

He then wrote several proposals to different institutions and individuals that might have interest in mental health issues such as WASCO, CTM Orthopedics and Dankie Transport. Others supported with bottled water, beverages, muffins as well as branding equipment like NUL banners for the big day (the handover day).

All the effort resulted in what Ramokanate describes as “the best day of his life” when the goods – four trucks of clothes – were handed over to the beneficiaries.

Prominent personalities such as the President of the Lesotho Nurses Association, Dr Semakaleng Phafoli, the Director of Nursing Services Lesotho, Mrs ‘Makholu Nthabiseng Lebaka and the Reverend of the Mabote LESCA Parish, Rev. Lefumanyane Nt’sasa graced the handover ceremony.
Not to mention the smiles he brought to so many of the patients.
That was, after all, his goal.

Beyond his engagement in philanthropic activities, Ramokanate maintains a busy schedule. He is a co-founding member of NUL Association for Nursing Academics. Ramokanate is a former treasurer of the NUL Student Nurses Association and student chapter for Lesotho Nurses Association’s Secretary. It doesn’t come as a surprise then, that he is also the 2017 recipient of the Achievement Award from the Lesotho Nurses Association, a revered award.

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