By Mohalenyane Phakela
MASERU — “We teach the children to love each other like brothers and sisters so that they can develop resilient relationships,” SOS home-based caretaker Retšepisitsoe Masitha said during gala dinner last Friday.
The organisation hosted the event with the aim of raising funds for children in Maseru and at their other branch in Quthing.
“I have been with SOS Lesotho since its dawn in 1994 giving children love, security and education to be hands on,” said Masitha.
She said during her time at the centre she has cared for children aged between three and 15.
“I feel very proud when I meet those that have graduated from universities and have started their own lives and those who are now married. I thank God for giving me the privilege of taking care of these children. I love them so much.”
According to national statistics, more and more children are being orphaned every day. SOS Children’s Village is one of the few organisations trying to help the needy.
The director of SOS Lesotho Robert Tšeuoa thanked all the companies that pledged funds to support SOS.
“I am very glad that we are joining hands to share our experience. This is more than just SOS’ journey but involves the nation as a whole. We plead with everyone to lend a helping hand.
“SOS has an annual budget of M80 000 000, which means that we have less than M40 000 to take care of each child. The aim of tonight’s gathering is to reflect the challenges ahead.”
Raised and educated by SOS, Sello Mafereka recited a poem SOS — One Child — One Friend — One Movement as a token of appreciation. Sponsors were awarded with certificates of appreciation.
SOS operates in more than 130 countries worldwide taking care of abandoned, orphaned children and destitute families.
SOS looks after more 2 000 children every year and, through its family strengthening programme, takes care of 974 of them living outside their premises. They are taught self-help programmes so that they can take cake of themselves in the future. Its international umbrella organisation was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1960.
It has grown to be ranked 33 out of 100 NGOs around the world with universities and colleges in countries like America and Ghana. Its primary school, in which one third of the 500 students are orphans, here in Maseru is known for producing good results and having disciplined students.
Entertainment was provided by Sentšo, Kwaito star Gudoza and Gospel sensation Liau Tente.