AVANI Hotels Group in Lesotho recently lent a helping hand, donating various goods to vulnerable children at St. Celia Children’s Home at Ha Bua Sono in the Berea district.
The goods which were donated as part of the hotel chain’s Community Social Investment (CSI), included blankets, sheets, sanitary towels and groceries.
In addition, AVANI will be running a soup kitchen at the institution every month until the end of the year.
AVANI’s Human Resource Manager, Lesekelo Makara said: “It is a challenge for us as AVANI and the government that orphans and vulnerable children continue increasing therefore we need to continue lending a helping hand so that we can aid the development of the children.”
He said the donations were only a stop-gap measure and their goal was to ensure children were ultimately reunited with their parents or relatives, adding, “We hope to see a reduced number of children living here or different faces in future”.
Another AVANI representative, Willem van Heerden commended the orphanage for its commitment to children’s welfare.
“When growing up, no one ever dreams of having such a big family and the founder of this place did not plan to have more than two kids but here he is today with a very large number of kids under his care,” Mr van Heerden said.
“It is not an easy task to raise a big number of children which means you are doing a very difficult but good job here and the least we could do was meet you halfway with some of the basic needs in order to ensure a reputable welfare for the kids.
“This should also contribute to the good educational performance of each individual so we are also hoping to see future leaders emerge from this group,” he said.
The children were also treated to a meal by the hotel group.
St Celia Children’s Home was established by Father Pule Mahlangu in 2009 with the assistance of Slovakian volunteers who continue to make financial contributions.
There are always two volunteers from the eastern country at the orphanage and these interchange every six months.
The orphanage opened with 15 children in 2009 and now has 68 from the ages of 1 to 18, and 10 of them are in boarding high schools.
Father Mahlangu expressed gratitude to AVANI for the timely donations, saying it was not every day they got to cover their daily needs.
“Our greatest struggles are hunger and cold so we are very grateful to AVANI for the groceries and blankets which came at a very appropriate time ahead of winter.
“This gesture will help us go a long way for we sometimes struggle to make ends meet. The greatest help would be a donation of big pots that can be used to cook outside in an open fire which will help us reduce the utility costs,” he said.
The children demonstrated their appreciation through song and dance as well as praying for continued divine blessings for the hotel group.