Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) staff on Saturday celebrated King Letsie III’s 52nd birthday with children at Phelisanong Centre.
The SLB members, clad in blue overalls, also marked the occasion by painting the walls of the children’s bedrooms and fitting carpets, and thereafter held a party to mark the first anniversary of the Hippo account.
His Majesty’s belated birthday ceremony was conducted under the theme, 52 Minutes for the King, and challenged the staff to refurbish the children’s residential area within 52 minutes. His Majesty was born on 17 July 1963 which means he turned 52 this year, hence the ’52 Minutes’ challenge.
According to SLB Marketing Manager Manyathela Kheleli, the refurbishments cost the bank and its partners M40 000.
“The aim of this occasion is to conduct the refurbishments under 52 minutes in honour of the King’s 52nd birthday which was held on 17 July this year. The reason we chose Phelisanong Centre was in line with the King’s national birthday celebration which was held right here in Leribe as well.
“In addition to the refurbishments, we are going to supply a hoover that would be used to clean the carpet. The sum of these contributions which we rounded up with our co-sponsors amounts to M40 000.
“We are also celebrating the Hippo Account which is turning one this year,” Mr Kheleli said.
On his part, SLB Chief Executive Mpho Vumbukani urged more businesses to take responsibility for the country’s vulnerable children.
“As a bank, our mandate comes from the people who support us immensely as our customers…I would like to thank them dearly for this support. I would also like to thank some of our key partners in this initiative who contributed financially and otherwise. I believe you have seen the ongoing road repairs leading to the Home here provided by Monate Transport. Lesotho Funeral Services has also contributed as well as Seashell.
“We thank them for their input and I would also urge others who are in privileged positions to extend a helping hand to children in communities because it is clear there are many kids like these back in our communities who need help,” Mr Vumbukani said.
Phelisanong Centre is home to 160 children comprising orphans and those living with disabilities. The Centre also looks after vulnerable children collected from the streets by the Ministry of Social Development.
Also premised at the home are a preschool and primary school which accommodate 400 pupils. These pupils include those with different kinds of disabilities.
In her address, Phelisanong Founder, Mamello Mokholokoe, expressed gratitude to the sponsors, saying their efforts were a blessing to the Centre.
“Children used to play on a cement floor here and we are grateful they are now going to sit on much more comfortable carpets. They are now also able to watch television just like other children. So we are truly grateful for the gifts,” she said.