Vodacom Foundation injects M1m in school



MASERU – Vodacom Lesotho Foundation (VLF) has upped its June 2022 financial support to the Resource Centre for Blind (RCB) in Maseru by M300 000, bringing the total amount to M950 000. The money is intended to provide much needed education to visually impaired persons catered for by the school, who would otherwise not receive any education.  The increased support comes at a critical time in the fulfilment of government’s strategy to meet the needs of the most vulnerable population, where Covid-19 disrupted teaching and learning, with the most disadvantaged children and learners hit hardest by its impact.

As part of their corporate social responsibility programme, the money is aimed at providing assistance to programmes supporting education, health and economic growth, where Vodacom believes that every child deserves proper and continuous education.

The Vodacom Lesotho Foundation on June 7, 2022, donated M650 000 to the centre. “This will contribute to the total upkeep and running of the institution, enabling it to provide a residential capability for those under their care as the Centre no longer gets annual funding from government and other traditional funders forcing it to shut its doors at the height of Covid-19 pandemic,” Vodacom noted.

According to the Foundation, the Resource Centre for the Blind is the only institution which offers support and primary education for young people with visual impairments. This results in the Centre being open to increased demand for its services but also being the only contributor to the national strategy for inclusive education at its level and specialisation. “Other notable access and inclusion contributions include a donation of 22 assistive devices to autistic and intellectually disadvantaged students at Thuso E Tla Tsoa Kae School in October 2022. To date, Vodacom Lesotho and the Foundation have contributed over M40 million towards changing Basotho lives,” VLF further states.

The Foundation’s support is in line with its pillar of access and inclusion as part of its five pillars of social impact projects in areas such as education, health, gender, youth entrepreneurship and public safety. Chairman of the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation, John Matlosa, said they are committed to not only staying the course in their social contract with the Basotho nation through such critical interventions, but also aim to bring in other partners and expand the funding envelope to strengthen the impact of their interventions. The Foundation’s continued contributions are aimed at plugging the funding gap in social causes as third sector funding is increasingly declining globally in line with the global economic downturn.

Private sector organisations are, therefore, challenged to step in to partner with the government, civil society, philanthropists and development partners to offer the much-needed social safety nets.

In this regard, Vodacom Lesotho Foundation recently forged relations with UNICEF Lesotho, the Roger Federer Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education to contribute to projects in support of child safety, early childhood education and girl coding, among others.

The government of Lesotho has so far also shown commitment to local and international conventions calling for the promotion of rights for people with disabilities through provisions of the Education Act of 2010, the Disability Equity Act of 2021, inclusive of the Education Policy of 2018, which calls for quality education for all. The government, through the Ministry of Education and Training, has also called on private organisations to support schools by providing appropriate resources such as assistive devices, braille materials for learners with visual impairment and other resources for creating education opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *