A shot in the arm for SOS village

A shot in the arm for SOS village

Rose Moremonoho

MASERU – STANDARD Lesotho Bank has donated M390 000 to SOS Children’s Village as it renewed its three-year commitment to support the children’s home.

The bank signed a memorandum of understanding with the SOS Children’s Village in 2013 pledging support until yesterday.

The children’s village got M120 000 support from Standard Lesotho Bank in the first agreement, which is titled Moving the Child Forward Initiative.

Standard Lesotho Bank has entered into this partnership to support one of the SOS houses called Tebohong House, which takes care of eight children.

SOS Children’s Village in Lesotho is part of an international federation of 150 countries which was founded in 1949 after the World War II by Herman Gmeiner.

It was introduced in Lesotho in the 1980s.

According to Paki Kolobe, Care-man of the board of directors of SOS said he was just a boy when the federation was established.

Kolobe recalled that SOS Children’s Village started as a crèche when he was just a boy and nobody knew that he would be part of one of the largest child care organisations in the country.

“When the economy took a slight challenge over the past years, donors could not fund us as they used to. Funders don’t have money, there is now donor fatigue,” Kolobe said.

Kolobe said when donors started having donor fatigue, caring for children became harder but because of businesses like Standard Lesotho Bank they still find a way to look after the children.

According to SOS Children’s Village International, during the 1998 and 1999 political unrest SOS played a big role in helping the local population by distributing food and medical supplies as part of the SOS relief programme.

SOS takes care of 1373 children from the ages of eight years to 17 years and gives them care from primary to high school.

Children are taken care of in three divisions, the family based care where vulnerable children are appointed into a home, given two caretakers who do their laundry, cooking and cleaning for them, secondly, the youth home where they are taken care of through adolescence.

The third is the family strengthening programme where children are taken care of while they are still at their respective homes with relatives.

“No child should grow up alone and every child is a responsibility of a village. It is every child’s right to grow up in a protected and cared for environment,” Kolobe said.

“We are well aware of child trafficking and human trafficking in general and we need to fight all these demises,” he said.

Mpho Vumbukani, Chief Executive of Standard Lesotho Bank, said this is an important contribution in the community and a course that is worthy of support.

“It helps us to increase our strides towards investing in the livelihoods and education of vulnerable children in Lesotho,” Vumbukani said.

Vumbukani said just as the bank’s slogan says, ‘Moving Forward’, they are also moving children’s upbringing forward within the loving homes that they find at SOS.

“As we all know, education is the foundation of life and indeed our economy, so we are pleased that we are entering into a partnership that is intended to nurture future leaders early in their formative years because, a good tomorrow starts today,” Vumbukani said.

Vumbukani said the bank is passionate about the welfare and education of orphans and vulnerable children.

“We look at them as our own, and we fully understand that they need support and care just like any other child”.

Vumbukani said the reasons for them to have signed the second memorandum of understanding is because ‘moketa ho tsosoa o itekang’, loosely translated ‘help those who help themselves’.

He said all that the bank is doing is to support the big work that the village is already doing.

“As the bank’s reputation is very important for its survival, and working with accountable and reputable people is very important in sustaining a good reputation,” Vumbukani said.

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