MASERU — A local events promotion company, Vee-Events has launched a two-month solidarity campaign for victims of natural disasters in Japan.
A gala dinner at Lesotho Sun on Thursday last week saw private companies raising funds to support victims of the March 11, 2011 Tsunami and Tohoku earthquake.
Vee-Events’ Lucy Moleka said the idea of raising funds for victims of the natural disasters was influenced by the large support Lesotho has received from Japan.
“This campaign will run for the next two months and the funds will be collected, audited and then sent to Japan.”
“Lesotho has received a lot of help from Japan and we felt that as civilians we should take the initiative of saying to Japan we are thinking of you in these troubled times,” Moleka said.
She said on top of the gala dinner, they have designed and produced sweaters to sell to raise more funds.
“We have produced sweaters at M100 and are selling them M150 each, the M50 goes towards Japan. The sweaters are sold at V-Events offices at Maseru Sun and at Pioneer Mall in It Is Well boutique.”
Moleka said a table of 10 was sold for M6 000 but, “local companies sympathised with Japan and others pledged more money.”
Speaking at the gala dinner Matete ‘Nenea from the Ministry Foreign Affairs’ Asia and Pacific Region desk congratulated Vee-Events for “your selfless gesture of extending a hand to a needy nation”.
“Lesotho and Japan have a relation that is unique and this gesture will help strengthen the friendship. We thank Vee-Events for not waiting for the government to initiate solidarity efforts to help Japan,” ‘Nena said.
The Japan disaster occurred when Lesotho was celebrating the Moshoeshoe I Day.
’Nena said despite disasters hitting Japan, the country continued to demonstrate commitment and support to Lesotho’s education.
“A few days after the earthquake, Japan gave M140 million (1.784 billion Japanese Yen) towards the construction and upgrading of secondary schools.
“It also gave over M23 million (300 million Japanese Yen) for solar energy to improve the livelihoods of Basotho in the face of challenges brought about by climate change,” ‘Nena said.
He said the earthquake had caused untold suffering to many Japanese families. Some people died leaving behind orphans, a situation which is new in the history of Japan.
“All 19 states by the ocean were affected by the Tsunami and completely destroyed.”
‘Nena urged Basotho, especially those that benefit from the schools, to contribute “even M1 towards Japan”.
Pastor Dumisani Dube of Word of Life said the initiative to raise funds for Japan is fulfilling the Bible scripture which says “when one is hurting we hurt with them”.
“This may be a small gesture but it is spiritually recognised. This path will help us to be a solution-oriented continent,” he said.
The gala dinner saw about 70 people from private companies sharing compassion with Japan.
Local music star, Stlofa, performed a song titled Africa, which calls for unity.