MASERU — Twenty-eight students from the National Health Training College (NHTC) on Monday received US$6 000 (M42 000) from a United States-based charity organisation, Friends of Lesotho (FOL).
Friends of Lesotho is a non-profit organisation of former US Peace Corps volunteers who served in Lesotho from the 1970s to the present.
The donation is meant to help non-resident students pay for their housing and transport costs.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Maseru, US Ambassador Michele Bond said FOL created a scholarship fund to help current NHTC students.
Bond said the donation comes at a time when the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is building additional dormitories at the NHTC.
“As important as clinics, hospitals and other structures are, it is Basotho health care professionals who are on the front line fighting the battle.
“They need support,” Bond said.
She said the students who had received the donations were selected on the basis of academic merit and financial need.
Speaking at the same occasion, NHTC deputy director, Tahisha Tarr, said this year’s donation was made possible through Janice Stapleton, who was teaching at the college.
Tarr urged the beneficiaries to use the money wisely “so that you continue to excel in your studies”.
“It does not end in the classroom; you should extend this privilege you have to make sure that you are committed to providing excellent health care to your patients” Tarr said.
One of the beneficiaries, Palesa Mathe, told the Lesotho Times that she was happy to receive the money.
Mathe said the gift came at the right time when there was lack of equipment at the college forcing students to seek practice at local hospitals.
“I wish that the Friends of Lesotho could prosper and manage to increase the number of students they are helping,” Mathe said.
FOL was formed in 1986 by a small group of former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Lesotho in the 1960s and 70s.
The organisation currently has about 400 members from all over United States.