CHRISTMAS came early for four Roma-based primary schools and the surrounding community last Saturday, after they received various goodies during an event held amid pomp and fanfare at Liphakoeng Primary School.
The goodies, which included four soccer kits, 250 pairs of school shoes, 120 sanitary pads and 80 toiletry packages, were courtesy of the Seutloali and Lineo Thaanyane Foundation, which consists of a Johannesburg-based Basotho couple, in collaboration with well-wishers from South Africa.
The beneficiaries included Liphakoeng, Maliele, St Michaels and Lipholo primary schools, with elderly members of the community receiving blankets while vulnerable families also walked away with grocery hampers. Leratong Children’s Village also received a brand new hometheatre system and M2 000 cheque.
The event kicked-off with a five-kilometre fun walk from Lengoeleng to Liphakoeng Primary School grounds where the four schools competed in a netball and soccer tournament. Students from the tournament’s overall winner, Liphakoeng Primary School, were awarded medals and a trophy.
The crowd was entertained by Afro Jazz sensation Sentšo and Kwaito star Kudoza, while Liphakoeng students also performed Mokhibo, Ntlamo and Pantsula dances.
Mr Thaanyane told the Sunday Express on the sidelines of the event, that their foundation had been assisting the needy in Roma since 1999.
“We have been making donations to underprivileged families in Roma since 1999 because Lesotho is close to our hearts and also my birthplace,” he said.
“On previous occasions, we were doing it on our own, but this time around we saw the need to extend our reach and called on our friends and colleagues from Amalgamated Beverage Industries to pitch in.”
In his address to the beneficiaries, Mr Thaanyane said the gesture did not mean they had a lot to spare, but was meant to give hope to the community.
“We did not only bring groceries, toiletries and school outfits, but also hope that tomorrow does not have to be another yesterday,” he said.
“I grew up in these dusty grounds but here I am today. I urge you all not to let your past or present determine your future.”
Leon Fillis, who spoke on behalf of the donors, also urged the youngsters to aspire for better things in life.
“Education is the key to life, so I urge you to focus on your studies to ensure that in future you can do more than what we have done today,” he said.
“Blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives.”
In her vote of thanks, Liphakoeng Primary School Principal Mapitso Mokhothu, lauded Mr Thaanyane for remembering his roots.
“I taught Seutloali at Roma Primary School and today he has become a man we are all proud of and his success is to our benefit. I hope the Lord blesses him and his team,” she said.