For a wor­thy cause

. . . as Vo­da­com Le­sotho cre­ates syn­er­gies to as­sist less for­tu­nate

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

VO­DA­COM Le­sotho (VCL) has part­nered with var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions in its “Ran­dom Acts of Kind­ness” cam­paign which aims to make the cold months more bear­able for vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties, Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion Co­or­di­na­tor, Kath­leen Mccarthy has re­vealed.

Ms Mccarthy made the re­marks on Tues­day dur­ing a feed­ing pro­gramme for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren and home­less peo­ple VCL is un­der­tak­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Al­liance In­sur­ance Com­pany and Dou­gies Kitchen in Maseru. The Win­ter Soup Kitchen, as the ini­tia­tive is called, op­er­ates from Dou­gies Kitchen near Pi­o­neer cir­cle.

She said the com­pa­nies had been pro­vid­ing vul­ner­a­ble and home­less peo­ple with a hot meal con­sist­ing of hot soup and bread for break­fast on Tues­days and Fri­days since last month, adding that the cam­paign would last un­til 1 Septem­ber. Once a month, the vul­ner­a­ble groups are also treated to a hearty meal that in­cludes pap, meat and veg­eta­bles.

“Through the Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion, VCL has em­barked on ini­tia­tives such as this one through­out the coun­try with the aim to make win­ter more com­fort­able for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially vul­ner­a­ble groups such as chil­dren who live in the streets,” said Ms Mccarthy.

“VCL, Al­liance In­sur­ance Com­pany and Dou­gies Kitchen have been com­ing to­gether on Tues­days and Fri­days to of­fer one meal a day to these chil­dren who face daily hard­ships on the streets. We started on 10 July and will end the pro­gramme on 1 Septem­ber.”

The Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion is the cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity arm of VCL and a sub­sidiary of the Voda­fone Group Foun­da­tion.

It op­er­ates as a sep­a­rate le­gal en­tity from VCL with the aim of help­ing ad­dress var­i­ous de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges in ar­eas that are in line with the gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment Plan.

She said the Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion had also part­nered with Sepheo, a char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion that works with chil­dren liv­ing and work­ing on the streets in Maseru.

“Sepheo has been do­ing a good job in its ef­forts to re­unite some of the es­tranged chil­dren with their fam­i­lies or find­ing them homes,” Ms McCarthy said.

“This or­gan­i­sa­tion has re­duced the num­ber of chil­dren liv­ing in the street by at least 50 per­cent since last year. It has been great part­ner­ing with Al­liance In­sur­ance Com­pany and Sepheo to­wards such a noble ini­tia­tive and I urge other cor­po­rates to get on board to broaden our reach and achieve even more.”

She said the foun­da­tion had also part­nered with the Lit­tle Feet Foun­da­tion in a cam­paign to chal­lenge ev­ery Mosotho to con­duct an act of kind­ness in the com­ing weeks. Lit­tle Feet Foun­da­tion is a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vid­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices to chil­dren in child care fa­cil­i­ties and or­phan­ages in Le­sotho and South Africa.

“We want peo­ple to re­mem­ber that ev­ery small act of kind­ness can go a long way in chang­ing some­one’s life, so we are chal­leng­ing peo­ple to take a photo of them­selves do­ing a kind act and post it on the Lit­tle Feet Foun­da­tion’s Face­book page. The photo with the most likes will each week be se­lected for a prize,” she said.

The pro­gramme to as­sist vul­ner­a­ble groups, Ms Mccarthy said, would also reach those liv­ing in dis­tricts be­yond Maseru.

“We have given over 120 jack­ets and over 120 blan­kets to Phe­lisanong or­phan­age for vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in Leribe. We have also given 60 foam mat­tresses to SOS Cen­tre in Quthing this week and are plan­ning a trip to Butha-buthe next week to as­sist some projects be­ing un­der­taken by groups of grand­moth­ers who are rais­ing their aban­doned grand­chil­dren,” she added.

“We con­sulted with these or­phan­ages to es­tab­lish what their needs were and the items we have been giv­ing away ad­dress their spe­cific prob­lems. We wanted to find out what it was that we could pro­vide to make the win­ter more com­fort­able for them since we are a com­pany that pro­vides so­lu­tions to prob­lems.”

On her part, Al­liance In­sur­ance Com­pany Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, Li­makatso Mokobo­cho, said the two days in which they were hold­ing the feed­ing pro­gramme com­ple­mented the ef­forts of other or­gan­i­sa­tions which were con­duct­ing sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives on dif­fer­ent days.

“We be­lieve there are other ex­ist­ing cam­paigns sim­i­lar to this one, which take place on dif­fer­ent days hence we de­cided to cook for them on Tues­days and Fri­days,” Ms Mokobo- cho said.

“This cam­paign is one of the ways we would like to show Ba­sotho that Al­liance In­sur­ance Com­pany cares for chil­dren and they are our re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“It is not good for any per­son to sur­vive on only one meal a day or to sleep out in the cold, and we have teamed up to act in the best in­ter­ests of these des­ti­tute chil­dren. That is why we de­cided on hot food such as soup and stews.”

She added: “When chil­dren are cared for and shown love, they be­come less of a dan­ger to so­ci­ety. We there­fore wish to in­vite more cor­po­rate bod­ies to con­trib­ute to­wards cam­paigns that pro­vide for vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.”

Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion co­or­di­na­tor Kath­leen mccarthy (left) and dou­gies Kitchen’s dou­glas muller dish food to some of the vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of the com­mu­nity in maseru on Tues­day.

Vo­da­com Le­sotho Foun­da­tion co­or­di­na­tor Kath­leen mccarthy.

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