Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has injected M150 000 into the Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) for the development of the sport among children.
According to federation President Tšeliso Motloheloa, the funding is a continuation of the mini-chess programme designed in South Africa and launched in Lesotho two years ago in 10 primary schools.
The programme, he added, targets children between the ages of 5-9 years.
“We are going to use this for the continuation of the mini-chess programme launched here in 2014. That development programme was designed in South Africa and sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation, but we are very glad that we managed to find our own sponsor, in KFC. It is meant for educational benefits for children in primary school. We have teachers who will be training the students,” Motloheloa said at the handover of the money on Wednesday in Maseru.
Motloheloa also thanked the Ministry of Education for including chess in primary schools’ curriculum.
“We are glad the ministry decided to include chess in the syllabus because it also helps children learn especially courses that include mathematics,” he said.
Motloheloa, however, lamented lack of resources and said for now, only five schools— Falimehang, St Kizito, Mazenod, Seventh Day Adventist and St Stephens-would be benefiting from the M150 000.
“Our main challenge is lack of resources so for now, we are starting with five schools and maybe with time, the programme will expand to other institutions.
“We chose schools in Maseru and Mohale’s Hoek because for now they are the most accessible to chess players. We wanted to start with places where we are sure there will be positive results. Chess, like I said, is most prevalent in Maseru and Mohale’s Hoek hence that decision.”
On his part, KFC Lesotho Supply Chain Manager, Motjoka Toloane, said the popular fast-food restaurant chain was happy to lend a helping hand once again to Lesotho sport.
“For now, the target is 1000 students in all five schools and we are happy to have been able to help again in developing Lesotho sport,” Toloane said.
“We are starting small because we want to make sure the programme is a success so we have offered the federation a one-year contract. Hopefully, we will expand the programme to other schools and districts in the coming years.”