Bank puts smile back on the faces of orphans

Bank puts smile back on the faces of orphans

BEREA – ORPHANED at an early age and growing up in a child-headed set-up, life has been a struggle for the Mese family.
They dropped out of school due to lack of funds to pay for school fees and other amenities.
But now they can afford to smile after Standard Lesotho Bank in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Lesotho built a house for the four siblings.

’Matiba, 22, Leboea, 18, Nthabiseng, 14 and ’Mapitso, 12, and other family members from Berea district could not hide their joy after being presented with the two-roomed house.
“We can never express how much we appreciate what Standard Lesotho Bank and Habitat for Humanity Lesotho have done for us and we hope it won’t only be us but other families that are in need like us,” said an aunt, ’Maitiba, who regularly kept an eye on the siblings since she stayed close by.

The acting Head of Marketing at Standard Lesotho Bank, Manyathela Kheleli, said the institution focuses on more than just banking to improve the lives of vulnerable Basotho.
“Today we are witnessing how working together could improve lives.
“We have so far built seven houses with Habitat and we are realising that the need of shelter is a challenge for Lesotho,” Kheleli said.

Before the gesture, the siblings and ‘Matiba’s two-year-old daughter lived in a run-down hut with no windows for ventilation, thus posing a serious health risk to their lives.
The National Director of Habitat Lesotho, ’Mathabo Makuta, said they felt humbled to give the ’Mese family a home to be proud of.
“There are no orphans before God, so we did not want them to feel like they are orphans and they cannot have decent shelter,” Makuta said.

Makuta said her organisation is hoping to raise funds to send the Mese siblings back to school “as there is no future without education”.
She said Habitat and Standard Lesotho Bank will engage their partners to help raise the required school fees.
Makuta said some Basotho had already donated clothing items to the family.

The councilor of Ha-Mosili, ‘Mataele Machepa, said the gesture was a first in the community.
She described the ‘Mese family as “blessed” for having been chosen to benefit from Standard Lesotho Bank and Habitat’s benevolence.
Machepa told the family to take care of the new house and be proud of it “because no one can take it away from you, and the chief and I would make sure that you get documentation for the house”.

Kefiloe Kajane

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