Habitat, US Embassy rallies  behind orphans’ cause

Habitat, US Embassy rallies behind orphans’ cause

BEREA– ORPHAN care is not about someone doing everything, but about everyone doing something.
This was manifested last Friday when Habitat for Humanity Lesotho, with help from the US Embassy, handed over a two-roomed house to orphans in Ha-Rakheleli in Berea.

Habitat for Humanity Lesotho partnered with the Global Village team of 14 members from the US through a Global Village programme to build the house and a VIP latrine.
The beneficiaries were four siblings whose parents died when they were still young.

This life-changing initiative was also supported by 12 members from the American Embassy.
Construction of the house took only five days from August 12 to 16.
The youngest beneficiary is nine-year-old Kabelo Rakheleli, whose three siblings Kefuoe, Itumeleng and Rethabile are aged 16, 23 and 25 respectively.
When their parents died, Kabelo was only three years old and the then 19-year-old Rethabile had to drop out of school to look after the family.
The siblings inherited a thatched hut that soon became so dilapidated that one could see the sky through the roof from inside and the walls were full of cracks.

Since the death of their mother, the area chief, who is also their relative, has been supporting them with daily needs and well-wishers from the village also supported the boys with handouts.
Kabelo is in Grade 4 at Mothebesoane Primary School, about 5 kilometres away, and he aspires to be a policeman.
All his brothers dropped out of school due to financial problems.
The second born, Itumeleng, works at a garments factory in Maputsoe and Kabelo stays with his eldest brother who is taking care of two cattle which he received as payment for looking after a neighbour’s livestock.

Their uncle, Chief Mobe Monyamane, helps by all means including the school needs for Kabelo.
“Even if they now have a new house I’m still going to continue helping them because they are my children,” the chief said.
“I wasn’t happy with them staying in this house that’s why I would let them sleep at my house during rainy days,” he said.
It was through the chief and the council of the village that Habitat for Humanity Lesotho knew about the plight of the children.

The National Director of Habitat for Humanity Lesotho, ’Mathabo Makuta, urged the chief and the community to continue helping the family.
The US Embassy has been working with Habitat for Humanity Lesotho for three years now in helping some of Lesotho’s most vulnerable children.

“A house is one of the basic needs of any child,” Makuta said.
Thanking Habitat for Humanity and the US Embassy, Rethabile said he was in Maputsoe looking for a job when he heard that they were going to build a house for his family.
“I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for doing this for my little brother,” Rethabile said.
“I have never seen anything like this before, I wish it for all other children,” he said.

He urged Kabelo to focus on his books and ignore any distractions that may come his way to achieve his dreams and also help others.
He said raising the boys was tough as he was also still young but by the grace of God, he was able to provide for his siblings.
The only time he ever left his younger brothers was last year when he went to look for a job in Maputsoe.
He left the two younger brothers alone and that was when Kefuoe quit school because he did not have any guidance.

Currently, Kefuoe is at an initiation school and will only be surprised to find his brothers living in a decent house when he comes back.
The US Ambassador, Rebecca Gonzales, said she is proud of the partnership between Lesotho and the US through which they have achieved great things.
“We have achieved many important things together, especially on the basis of strong people-to-people connections,” Gonzales said.

“Our Peace Corps is one of the longest running in the continent, having brought 2 600 volunteers to Lesotho since 1967,” she said.
Other volunteers were from the United Kingdom and Italy.
“This home will keep you safe, keep you warm, and keep you together as a family. All the things your mother would want for you,” Gonzales told the beneficiaries.

’Mamakhooa Rapolaki

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