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Wasco rescues disabled boy

Tsitsi Matope

MASERU — It was all smiles at St Angela Cheshire Home for the Disabled
Children in Ha Seoli last Friday when Khotso Chelepe, a six-year-old Lithabaneng boy received a donation of 33 cans of special Pediasure milk for his feeding from the Water and Sewerage Company (Wasco).

Khotso has a feeding and development problem, which was caused by a brain-related ailment he suffered a few months after his birth.

As a result, he has been in and out of hospital and cannot breathe normally, neither can he talk and walk.

Khotso is supposed to be fed only the special milk through a tube attached to his stomach, but this has not been the case since January when the Ministry of Social Development stopped providing the special milk.

Desperate, Khotso’s mother, Limpho Mohapi had no choice but to appeal to the public to help save her son who has since lost seven kilogrammes.

“We were already failing to meet his other special needs because I am

Although Khotso’s father is working, he only earns M1 000 a month, which cannot sustain us.

“Khotso’s milk costs M200 for a 900ml can that lasts three days,” Mohapi said in an interview on Friday.

The couple also has another son aged 10.

She explained the social welfare had stopped providing the milk because they had bought Khotso a food processor to prepare his food and were also providing a quarterly financial assistance of M750.

“The problem was that it was an electric processor and I don’t have electricity at home,” she said.

However, a ray of hope flickered again last Friday when Wasco came to family’s rescue.

“I am so emotional today because the Lord has remembered Khotso. Seeing him deteriorate and knowing that if
only I had money to buy the milk he would get better, was causing me sleepless nights.

“I thank Wasco for being there for Khotso and also thank the Ministry of Social Development for resuming providing Khotso with milk starting two weeks ago,” she said.

Wasco donated milk, nappies and toiletries, all worth M7 420.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Wasco chief executive officer, Mathealira Lerotholi said Khotso’s plight had moved his company to extend a helping hand.

“This is not the first time we are helping him because our relationship started three years ago.

“He is a child in need and we will continue to support him in any way possible, as part of our corporate social responsibility,” Lerotholi said.

He said it was sad to note that there were many children living in difficult circumstances in Lesotho as seen by reports of child sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect.

“Our concern and love for children is the reason why we are here to assist Khotso and also the 34 disabled children living here.”

Wasco this year also donated M15 000 towards renovation of the roof and ceiling of part of St Angela Home of disabled children.

The Roman Catholic Home was established in 1985 to provide life skills to children aged between five and 18 years.

“It broke our hearts that whenever it rained, children were finding themselves, at times, in flooded rooms, a situation that also triggered some illnesses,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Wasco also donated two communication devises for children with communication and language disability to Thuso e tla tsoa kae Handicap Centre in Butha Buthe.

Also present at the St Angela Home was the Minister of Social Development, ‘Matebatso Doti.

Doti said she was inspired by Wasco’s commitment towards helping to ease the plight of children.

“I would like to urge the rest of the private sector to also join the fight to improve children’s lives.

“More so, it would be commendable for the private sector to closely work with the government and invest more in the development of disabled children.

Ensuring their improvement is not only the responsibility of the government but a collective effort,” Doti said.

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