MASERU — Limkokwing University last week brought some early Christmas cheer to underprivileged children at three orphanages in Sekamaneng, Mazenod and Maputsoe.
The college donated groceries to Rachel Children’s Home in Maputsoe, Centre for the Poor and Less Privileged in Sekamaneng and Reitumetse Orphanage in Mazenod, ensuring the kids will — at least — have something to eat this festive season.
Limkokwing associate director, Marcia Mangadi told the Sunday Express last week’s donation was part of the institution’s corporate social responsibility programme.
“The whole idea is to make these disadvantaged children feel loved, not abandoned by society,” Mangadi said.
Mangadi explained beneficiaries were selected following reports of a dire need for food provisions at the three orphanages.
“The food situation at Rachel’s Home, for instance, was quite desperate. Again, we have realised orphanages in Maseru seem to be receiving more attention from well-wishers, so we decided to venture outside the city and go to such places as Maputsoe.”
Mangadi said the college felt there was no better way of ploughing back to the community than through this vulnerable community.
“We are part of the community and should, therefore, support these children because they are our responsibility as society. As a university, we must see ourselves as part of the community and help change the lives of members of the public,” she said.
‘Masalemone Molale — who opened Rachel Children’s Home in October 2003 with 12 children but now accommodates 43 orphans from different parts of Lesotho — said the home solely relied on donations from Good Samaritans for its survival.
“We started operations way back in 2003 and in addition to the children here at the centre — whose ages range from two to nine 19 years — we also help look after orphans and needy children staying with relatives in Leribe,” Molale said.
But Molale said lack of a steady source of income remains their biggest challenge.
“The Home relies on donations from different companies and individuals because we don’t have any income-generating projects; we don’t have a stable source of income,” she said.
Meanwhile, Molale said she was happy some of her children had managed to “overcome many social challenges” and through government support, are now at tertiary institutions.
“One of my girls is a third-year student at the National University of Lesotho and two of my boys are at Lerotholi Polytechnic. Five of my children are awaiting COSC results, thanks to the free primary education policy and scholarships by government.”
Molale said she counsels her children about the loss of their parents but admits it is never an easy task.
“They know that they are orphans and we do our best to ensure, at least, they enjoy their stay here at Rachel Children’s Home. We talk to them about their situation but at times, they are miserable and also complain that I am rude and strict with them.”
She said most of her children came to the centre through the Child Gender Protection Unit offices and Department of Social Welfare.
“Basically, we serve five areas — Teya-Teyaneng, Leribe, Botha-Bothe, Thaba-Tseka and Mohale’s Hoek.”
She expressed gratitude to Limkokwing University for remembering needy members of society at such critical times as Christmas.
“We live from hand-to-mouth here; we pray for everything to come from God”.
Molale said it is her hope another Good Samaritan would be coming forward to donate Christmas clothes for the children.
“My children don’t have Christmas clothes but I’m positive and faithful that they will get them, just like any other kid,” she said.
The marketing executive of Limkokwing, Makhenene Harris said their donation is proof of the college’s commitment to the country and its people.
“The university is not only concerned with education but also helps the country’s needy children; this is Limkokwing’s way of ploughing back into the community,” said Harris.
She reiterated the main purpose of the donations was to show children deserve to be loved and cared for, even when their parents are no more.
“Giving also builds a good relationship between the university and the community,” she said.