Econet springs sur­prise for chil­dren’s home

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

CHIL­DREN at the Min­istry of Hope sanc­tu­ary were treated to a “happy sur­prise” cour­tesy of Econet Tele­com Le­sotho (ETL) on Tues­day with the pre­sen­ta­tion of blan­kets and Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NBA) su­per­star Fes­tus Ezeli-ndu­lue.

Ac­cord­ing to ETL Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer, Ma­phunye Put­soa, the ges­ture was in keep­ing with the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant’s Happy Sur­prises pro­mo­tion which seeks to change lives for the bet­ter and ends next month.

“The Econet Happy Sur­prises com­pe­ti­tion was em­barked on to sat­isfy two el­e­ments; firstly, to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion to our val­ued cus­tomers who have been pre­sented with op­por­tu­ni­ties to win great prizes and up­lift their lives. We at Econet have in­deed en­joyed giv­ing back to our cus­tomers.

“Se­condly, the pro­mo­tion was also aimed at up­lift­ing the vul­ner­a­ble through the ‘Happy Blan­ket’ theme which en­abled us to do­nate win­ter blan­kets to or­phans and vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in over 10 or­phan­ages,” Ms Put­soa said.

Un­der the “Happy Blan­ket” cam­paign, ETL has been on a drive to do­nate up to 1 500 blan­kets coun­try­wide by the end of this month.

The Katle­hong-based chil­dren’s home is home to 24 young­sters un­der the age of 15 years and was es­tab­lished in De­cem­ber 2009. The chil­dren, who are brought to the cen­tre by the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare, are re­leased to their rel­a­tives once they reach the age of 18 years, but con­tinue re­ceiv­ing do­na­tions from the sanc­tu­ary.

Mr Ezeli-ndu­lue (25) is a Nige­rian pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball player who cur­rently plays for the Golden State War­riors of the NBA. The United States-based NBA is re­garded as the premier men’s pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball league in the world.

Mr Ezeli-ndu­lue was ini­tially sched­uled to visit South Africa only to pro­mote bas­ket­ball and hold coach­ing clin­ics but was brought into Le­sotho by ETL on a sim­i­lar mis­sion.

The NBA su­per­star was ac­com­pa­nied by mem­bers of the Le­sotho Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and helped to dis­trib­ute some of the blan­kets to the elated chil­dren.

He urged the chil­dren to strive for great­ness, say­ing bas­ket­ball had af­forded him an op­por­tu­nity to as­sist oth­ers.

“Play­ing bas­ket­ball has given me an op­por­tu­nity to in­spire change. I know when a lot of peo­ple look at me they just see an NBA star but this plat­form has mo­ti­vated me to be­come some­one great and hope­fully some of the young­sters from this home will some­day achieve such great­ness,” Mr Ezeli-ndu­lue said.

The home’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ma­monyane Mo­hale ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the blan­kets and the visit by the fa­mous bas­ket­ball player.

Ms Mo­hale co-founded the Min­istry of Hope Chil­dren’s Home along­side Nancy Dimmock of the Pres­by­te­rian Church in the United States of Amer­ica.

She said: “This place is home to over 45 chil­dren, 24 of whom are housed here and the re­main­ing 21 are vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren from the neigh­bour­ing vil­lages.

“With so many peo­ple to care for, the gifts are re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated and we are thank­ful to Econet for bring­ing them to­day. “

De­spite win­ter now draw­ing to a close, Ms Mo­hale said blan­kets were a timely ges­ture which would go a long way in bet­ter­ing the chil­dren’s plight.

“Even if you had brought them dur­ing the hottest sum­mer month, they would have been greatly wel­comed,” she said.

“We have learnt some hard lessons in the past. We only used to care for only 12 chil­dren and had enough blan­kets and clothes for them. “How­ever, out of nowhere we re­ceived 23 more chil­dren and found our­selves short of pro­vi­sions. We are grate­ful to those who helped us out dur­ing those times and we are happy to­day that Econet has brought us more blan­kets to keep for any emer­gen­cies.”

“We are also grate­ful to Mr Ezeli-ndu­lue and other sports or­gan­i­sa­tions that have of­ten vis­ited the chil­dren to in­still in them a sense of sports­man­ship.”

NBA su­per­star Fes­tus Ezeli-ndu­lue hands over blan­kets to the chil­dren which were do­nated by Econet Tele­com Le­sotho un­der its ‘Happy Blan­ket’ cam­paign.

ETL Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer Ma­phunye Put­soa.

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