Nedbank Lesotho throws lifeline to girls


BEREA - Nedbank Lesotho on Wednesday donated sanitary pads to three schools in the Butha-Buthe, Leribe and Berea districts, as part of its response to Queen ’Masenate Bereng Seeiso’s call through the Queen’s Trust Fund, Hlokomela Banana Initiative, for companies and individuals to adopt a school and distribute sanitary pads to the girls.

Nedbank Lesotho’s senior marketing manager, Mamoabi Phori, said: “We decided as a bank to donate in the five districts where we have branches, namely; Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Berea, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek. Today we are donating in three districts and next week we will proceed to the other two remaining districts with the same initiative. Distribution is expected to be held quarterly, with each girl receiving three packets per quarter.”

“Most importantly, you will realise that today we are celebrating Valentine’s Day, so there is no greater way of showing love as a bank to the girls than handing over these packages. This is the first time we are distributing and we hope to do it annually for the next three years, but not sponsoring the same schools,” Phori stated.Speaking on behalf of Lekokoaneng High School, one of the teachers, ‘Mants’ipuoa Lephoto said: “We are very humbled by what Nedbank has done today.

This is not what we had expected. Basotho have for a long time ignored that menstruation in girls is a natural thing and our girls need support because menstruation is not a thing one chooses to undergo.”Lephoto further thanked Hlokomela Banana, which she said since its introduction the high dropout of girls due to menstruation has decreased in local high schools.’Malikabiso Letsielo, Principal at Butha-Buthe Community High School, expressed the same sentiments and said the girls will now be able to study well, not feeling uncomfortable further expressing gratitude to Nedbank Lesotho.

One of the girls from Lekokoaneng High School, *Palesa (17) said she was very grateful because sometimes boys laugh at them when they menstruate and spoil their uniforms due to the unavailability of pads. Palesa also said “sometimes teachers do help us, since some of us are orphans and our pads run out but with the ones we received today, we will be comfortable for a long time.”The initiative by Nedbank is part of the Queen’s Trust fund initiative called “Hlokomela Banana Project,’’ committed to providing sanitary products to all female secondary and high school learners in Lesotho.

Nedbank Lesotho was among companies and individuals who received donor certificates from the Queen in January this year at a breakfast meeting held at Avani Lesotho. Other partners that have joined the initiative include Econet Lesotho, Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions, First National Bank, Premier Foods Lesotho, among others.For individuals and companies to adopt a school, they can contact Hlokomela Banana to pledge their support. The adopt-A-Girl sms campaign is expected to enhance more support to cover girls in all schools across the country by 2020.The schools which benefited on Wednesday through Nedbank Lesotho are Butha-Buthe Community High School, ST Rose High School and Lekokoaneng High School.

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