By Thandiwe Kubere

MASERU – In celebration of the founder’s birthday, Avani hotels and resorts in partnership with Nashua company sorts out in the spirit of giving, particularly this season and this year they heard the cry of Sechaba High School and offered a helping hand.

Sechaba High School is located at Kolonyama, in the outskirts and seemingly isolated area. To get there, teachers have to drive all the way from TY and other far places, resulting in late arrivals, sometimes due to transport issues and eventually affecting the performance of students. Among other challenges the school faces is the lack of resources to maintain the school and according to the school principal the building has never been maintained since its inception in 1998 resulting in further deterioration.

There is also lack of technology resources to enhance learning to name a few. Technology is no doubt essential in today’s way of learning because it helps to easily access information, provides tools for collaboration and quick learning and without it learning becomes slow and quite difficult.

Therefore as an effort to meet the school halfway, the companies in partnership gave a printer worth M37 000, two toners worth approximately M800 each, and snack packs as well as a package of the essentials for all the students of the school. The total costs approximately reached M50 000. The general manager of Avani hotels and resorts, Mr. Letsoso Mohasoa highlighted that this is part of the ongoing essence to give back to the community and that the school contacted them right on time. He declared that they were not only approached by the school but different organizations as well. The decision came after assessing the needs through the company’s CSI, their urgency and the company’s ability to provide the necessary help.

 “As a company we do not view this as a donation but rather as an investment into the future of this children through their education. This is not a once of thing but the beginning of a long partnership with the school even in future endeavors. The mission is to also retain some of this students as employees in the coming future. 

He further sensitized that the donated equipment is fragile, so our partners from Nashua who assisted with refurbishing the printer will frequently come to check and maintain the printer to make sure that the school utilizes it to its best advantage “, he said. He also urged them to take good care of the equipment because that way it will benefit them long-term.

Giving his remarks to the students, he deliberated that the Avani team is exhilarated to play a part in making their learning journey easier and helping with some of the essential resources necessary for learning, because the team considers students as significant members of the community who hold the keys to the betterment of Lesotho in future. He therefore encouraged them to take their studies seriously, listen to their teachers and caretakers who keep them accountable because they provide the crucial tools in paving their way to success.

He further thanked the principal and teachers for the good work they do in taking on so much responsibility in the students’ lives, not only academically but physically and mentally as well. He declared their task is not easy and it is incredible they do that effortlessly without complain. He further assured them that yesterday’s act was the beginning of their journey together of investing in the students’ education for better future returns.

Sechaba high school principal, Mr. Mphi ‘Moleli was in awe of this act as he emphasized that they have been constantly knocking on many doors for help but to no avail. He declared the school has many challenges including that of broken doors which is heartbreaking especially in winter when students have classes. And he explains the act of Avani has left him stunned because it was the first company to ever hear their plea.

“Even when we got the response that we would get help, we did not expect it would be in this form and to show that this act was intentional, they showed up as a large team with the manager, whereas they could have just sent a few people through. We are hoping this is the first of many answered prayers and more companies will get encouraged to help out as well. The major plan from now is that we get assisted with building a multi-purpose hall so that we are able to get income from either talent shows, weddings or other hosted events so that the school becomes self-sufficient and will not have to rely on donotions”, said Mr. ‘Moleli.

On behalf of the teachers, Ms. Lebohang Makhoarane thanked the two companies because their contribution will come in handy and help save time as well. She pointed out that they- as teachers have noticed the students’ needs because most of them are very vulnerable and underprivileged.  Some eventually miss school due to not having sanitary towels, which affects their performance. She emphasized that they try to help out where they can but struggle to reach some of others’ needs because the students are many and they already do not earn much. “It feels heartwarming to know who we can rely on in case of need and we wish the companies more success.

On behalf of the Avani hotels and resorts team, Ms. Emma Lepoqo excitedly stated that they feel honored and excited to be a part of this and that the school prayed so they were answered. She also deliberated that the company’s intention of giving back to the community stems from the verse which says blessed is the hand that gives!