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Habitat, Standard Bank rescue destitute family

Nthatuoa Koeshe

STANDARD Lesotho Bank in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Lesotho recently handed over a two roomed house to a disadvantaged family of four at Ha Mosili in the Berea district.

The ‘Mese family now headed by a 22-year-old lost its father five years ago leaving his unemployed wife to fend for three girls and one boy. Forced by circumstances, the mother relocated to South Africa where she worked as a domestic worker.

However, as fate would have it, the mother also died in August last year leaving her 22-year-old daughter, Malitaba, to fend for her siblings namely Leboea (19), Nthabiseng (14) and Mapitso (12).

Since her death last year, the four children have been living under the guardianship of their aunt who lives a stone’s throw from their house.

All four siblings together with Malitaba’s two-year-old daughter lived in a rundown rondavel with no windows for ventilation.

Habitat for Humanity’s national director Mathabo Makutla said they were thankful to Standard Lesotho Bank for their assistance in the construction of the house.

“Habitat’s programmes target vulnerable groups which include the elderly, orphans and people with disabilities, who cannot afford decent housing,” Ms Makutla said.

Ms Makutla pleaded with other organisations to offer a helping hand to the ‘Mese siblings as they also need to go to school.

“If we work together, we can make this country a better place because there are many other families like this one which need assistance and I hope other organisations will come forward and help these children go back to school,” Ms Makutla said.

She said she was mostly thankful to the villagers who assisted in the construction of the house.

“For all the times we went to villages to build houses, we have never seen a more dedicated and supportive village like this one and for that we are thankful,” she said.

For his part, Standard Lesotho Bank’s acting head of marketing, Manyathela Kheleli said their main aim is to change people’s lives hence they decided to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those in need.

He said the ‘Mese family’s house was the seventh they have built since their partnership with Habitat for Humanity which started in 2013 and they are looking forward to building more houses.

“When we started, we used to build one house per year but we later realised the great need for house which some people have,” he said.

Mr Kheleli said the bank has budgeted M450 000 for three years to build houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

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