Re­lief for child-headed Ha-matšaba fam­ily

Lesotho Times - - Business - Retha­bile Pitso

A CHILD-HEADED fam­ily’s dream of de­cent ac­com­mo­da­tion fi­nally came true in Ha-matšaba vil­lage, Maseru af­ter Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank (SLB) and Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Le­sotho (HHL) col­lab­o­rated in build­ing them a two-roomed dwelling.

The mother and fa­ther of the Koloti sib­lings died in 1996 and 2008 re­spec­tively, leav­ing the now 23-year old first­born girl child to take care of her 16-year old twin broth­ers and her own chil­dren. Since the death of their par­ents, the fam­ily had been liv­ing on their own in a derelict one-roomed house.

In her ad­dress dur­ing the han­dover cer­e­mony on Tues­day, SLB Head of Mar­ket­ing ‘Make­abet­soe Ma­baleha said the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­sti­tu­tion had do­nated M60 000 to­wards the build­ing the house and a ven­ti­lated pit la­trine which is com­monly known as a “VIP” toi­let.

She said they came to know of the Koloti fam­ily’s plight through their part­ner­ship with HHL to as- sist the un­der­priv­i­leged.

“A few years ago, we part­nered with HHL to im­prove the lives of the com­mu­ni­ties we serve, and we have since em­barked on many projects in that re­gard,” Ms Ma­baleha said.

“It was through this part­ner­ship that SLB came to learn of the plight of th­ese chil­dren who are ba­si­cally rais­ing them­selves.”

She also urged the ben­e­fi­cia­ries to find ways of earn­ing a liv­ing and not merely ex­pect­ing do­na­tions from well-wish­ers.

“I urge you not to sit around wait­ing for more do­na­tions but to take it upon your­selves to seek in­come gen­er­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that can sus­tain you in the long-term,” said Ms Ma­baleha.

“In ad­di­tion to build­ing the house, we also ploughed on some nearby land on your be­half, and hope­fully, you will put the land to good use.”

HHL Na­tional Di­rec­tor ‘Mathabo Makuta echoed the re­marks by laud­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions which had re­sulted in many needy peo­ple re­ceiv­ing as­sis­tance.

“SLB has al­ways heeded the call to as­sist vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in need of homes and the house we are giv­ing away to­day is one of the many we have do­nated to peo­ple with­out proper ac­com­mo­da­tion,” she said.

“This ini­tia­tive is one of the many we have un­der­taken in Mapoteng, Berea district and Ha-matala in Maseru district.”

Ms Makuta said the do­na­tion was the third HHL had made for mem­bers of the Ha-matsaba com­mu­nity.

“We are happy to share with you that two other house­holds in this area with vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren are some of our ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” she said.

“This high­lights the need for other or­gan­i­sa­tions to as­sist us in our at­tempts to pro­vide safe homes to vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.

“HHL can­not do it alone, so we are grate­ful to SLB for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port.”

On be­half of the govern­ment, the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor ‘Mants’enki Mpha­lane ap­pealed to the pow­ers that be in the area to en­sure the newly-built dwelling was not taken away by the Koloti sib­lings’ rel­a­tives.

“I wish to ask the chief and coun­cil of­fi­cers to en­sure this prop­erty is not taken by rel­a­tives who may later emerge and say they are the right­ful own­ers in­stead of th­ese young­sters,” she said.

“We don’t want to hear of peo­ple drag­ging each other to court over this is­sue be­cause it has al­ready been set­tled that this house was built for th­ese chil­dren alone. So please help us guard against such peo­ple.”

Ms Mpha­lane added: “In many child-headed homes, chil­dren of­ten fall prey to abuse, so we plead that you keep an eye on th­ese chil­dren against such vices.

“We also ap­peal to them to en­sure th­ese chil­dren start at­tend­ing school as we have es­tab­lished that two of the older ones are not get­ting any ed­u­ca­tion.”

For her part, the Koloti sib­lings’ great-grand­mother, ‘Mat­sotleho Mapa said she was grate­ful for the ges­ture.

“We are grate­ful to the con­trib­u­tors to this great gift to­day and we wish you God’s bless­ings. Thank you for putting a roof on th­ese chil­dren’s heads,” she said.

SLB Head of Mar­ket­ing ‘Make­abet­soe Ma­baleha.

THE new two-roomed house they now stay in cour­tesy of Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank and Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity Le­sotho.

THE derelict one-roomed house the Koloti fam­ily used to stay in.

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