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Team Shanghai concludes two-week long blanket campaign

Bataung Moeketsi

YOUTH-led social club Team Shanghai ended its two week-long Blankets Collection Challenge at the final drop-off point at the Maseru Mall parking lot yesterday.

The club launched the campaign in Maseru and Mohale’s Hoek where its branches are located. Children in orphanages across the two districts will be the recipients of the donations.

The initiative involved collecting blankets from well-wishers. About 300 blankets were collected through the initiative and the organisers said they were still expecting more.

In addition to the blankets, well-wishers were given the option to donate cash through M-Pesa or Ecocash which would later be used to purchase blankets. The club could however, not disclose how much had been collected by yesterday.

Team Shanghai president Phoka Matete told the Xpress People that this initiative is their way of lending a helping hand to the vulnerable during the ongoing winter season and the Covid-19 pandemic which is posing an even greater danger.

“There has been a number of means suggested as ways to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and on top of these is observing social distancing,” Matete said.

“Children living in large orphanages are usually unable to practise social distancing because they must share blankets and they also live in large number in cramped spaces where viruses may potentially spread rapidly.

“At this moment, we have no idea what the onset of the flu season in Lesotho will mean towards the spread of the virus.”

Matete said they have collected about 300 blankets that will help keep several disadvantage children warmer during the winter season.

He said the recipient orphanages will be determined by the number of blankets they collect up to early next month.

“The main goal is to avail the blankets to orphanages during the peak of the winter season when they are needed the most,” Matete said.

Team Shanghai was established in 2018 by Basotho youths who would frequent similar social circles and would later interact through meaningful initiatives and activities.

“Having realised that a significant number of the youths share similar backgrounds, we decided to form a group that would promote social cohesion.

“Collectively, Lesotho youths can strategically use the leisure time to achieve socio-economic change,” he said.

In 2018, Team Shanghai hosted an event dubbed Party with a Difference at Cappello Maseru Mall where a packet of sanitary towels granted revellers entrance into the venue. Team Shanghai collected 3 000 sanitary towel packets on the night.

The group has since held events similar events collecting school uniforms, books and other items for vulnerable children across the country.

Last year it also spearheaded a blood donation campaign to improve collections for the Lesotho Blood Transfusion Service (LBTS).

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