AT least 150 vulnerable families in and around Maseru recently received donations from different well-wishers to cushion them from the hardships brought on by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Although Lesotho is yet to record any infections, it has however, not been spared the effects of the deadly virus which has seen most businesses shut down and people required to stay at home to prevent the spread of the disease. Many people rely on the informal sector for their income, selling vegetables and other wares. But these businesses have been forced to close during the nationwide lockdown from 30 March to 5 May 2020.
Moved by the plight of vulnerable families, a Maseru-based church, White as Snow Fire Ministries (WASFM) yesterday donated food parcels to 72 households in the Ha-Matala suburb. Each food parcel consisted of a tray of eggs, cooking oil, maize meal, soya mince, tinned fish and spinach.
WASFM’s founder, Apostle Anthony Omelebele Snow told the Sunday Express that the initiative was borne out of a vision where God told him to feed 50 people. He said after consultations with Ha Matala’s Chief ‘Mamatala Matala, they identified 60 needy families.
In the end 72 families benefited from the donations after a member of the church, Lehlohonolo Motlalane, donated to another 12 households. The 15-year-old Lehlohonolo also pledged an additional M600 to help the needy.
Speaking at the handover of the goods, Apostle Snow implored churches to go beyond just preaching to the needy but to give generously because “the act of love is in giving”.
“The vision God gave to this ministry is to reconcile man with God through giving because if I come and say “God bless you” and you are hungry, it will not remove you from crime.
“The little we provide to the vulnerable can steer people away from making bad decisions and whenever you remember God loves you, you will remember the little you were given,” he said.
On his part, Lehlohonolo said, “during this pandemic, I encourage people to donate as much as they can because people are hungry and need supplies”.
One of the beneficiaries, 59-year-old Mokheseng Mohokae, told this publication he was grateful for the food hamper. He added that “God has used the people of this church (WASFM) to help those who cannot help themselves”.
On Friday, Chief Seeiso Leshoboro Majara of Marabeng donated groceries to 28 families in his area. The groceries were sourced from well-wishers including Berea #6 Councillor Motlatsi Maqelebo, Caesar’s Travel and Tours, and Kiddy Care Academy founder John Sylvester Amoako.
Each hamper consisted of flour, cooking oil, beans, peas, matches, candles, salt, tea and soap.
“Everyone who I approached understood the need to help the vulnerable families especially during this time when we are dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic that has put so many jobs at risk and increased food insecurity,” Chief Majara said.
Hillsview resident Tebogo Matji-Abbey and her friends also sourced and donated groceries to 50 families in different parts of Maseru.
Ms Matji-Abbey said the donations were sourced from various well-wishers including insurance giant Metropolitan who contributed M32 000.
Cosmetics manufacturer Makhaleng donated two containers of petroleum jelly to each household. Each hamper consisted of maize meal, flour, sugar, beans, tea, candles, matches, soap, two trays of eggs, cooking oil, soya mince, tinned fish and petroleum jelly.
“We realised that if we, as Basotho, don’t come together and share the little we have, people are literally going to die of hunger and not coronavirus.
“We hope that people in different districts will also donate in their areas,” Ms Matji-Abbey said.