INTER-DENOMINATIONAL Christian movement, Scripture Union Lesotho, yesterday held a fundraising event dubbed “Ebola Fund Campaign Valentine Dinner”, at Pioneer Mall in Maseru, to raise funds for West African countries hit by the Ebola epidemic.
The gala dinner was supported by the Ministry of Health, Econet Telecom Lesotho and Limkokwing University of Lesotho (LUCT) as well as attendees who contributed by paying for their tables.
The movement’s National Director, Lehlohonolo Moeti, said Scripture Union Lesotho promotes families and couples through an event held every Valentine’s Day. This year’s edition, he said, had the added twist of the fundraiser for the West African countries still grappling with the epidemic.
“On Valentine’s Day, we hold a gala dinner in which we teach people how to have good marital relations,” said Dr Moeti.
“However, this time around, we decided to combine the Ebola Fund Campaign with the Valentine’s Day dinner resulting in the Ebola Fund Campaign Valentine Dinner.
He said the decision to raise money for Ebola-affected countries came about last year when they met other members of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) of which Scripture Union Lesotho is also a part.
According to Dr Moeti, it came to their attention that IFES members from the affected countries were dying in large numbers due to the scourge.
Almost 23 000 people have been infected with Ebola since its outbreak in Guinea in December 2013, with more than 9 000 of those dying from the disease. It began in Guinea in December 2013 and then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“We then agreed as members from different countries to find ways to raise funds that could be channelled to the affected countries in West Africa since we just couldn’t sit idly by as they died,” he said.
“As Scripture Union Lesotho, we then decided that during this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner, we would raise funds especially for Ebola.”
Dr Moeti said they managed to raise funds by selling tickets for the event and from pledges from individuals as well as organisations such as LUCT.
“Since we will incur costs by hosting the event, we will deduct the expenses and send the rest of the proceeds to the IFES regional office in Nigeria,” he said.
“From there, it will be transferred to the African Union headquarters for accountability and disbursed to the affected countries.”
Dr Moeti said the money would be used for buying medication and equipment needed to fight and prevent the disease.