By Thoboloko Ntšonyane
MASERU – The three students are heading to the United States of America (USA) on a coveted Higherlife Foundation Scholarship.
These developments transpired yesterday during the farewell ceremony held in Maseru.
Katleho Pule, Moliehi Seipati and Mapalo Esther Makwaza will soon jet off to the US to pursue their tertiary studies at that country’s prestigious institutions of higher learning.
Pule will be studying Biological Sciences at Swarthmore College, Seipati will be studying Economics at Luther College, and Makgwaza will do Investigative Journalism at Oklahoma University.
Appreciating the gesture, Pule said Econet and Higherlife Foundation has contributed immensely to the education in Lesotho.
She promised to work hard in the US and represent her country on the global stage.
Pule expressed their determination to actively pursue education and to extend similar opportunities to other Basotho.
Also speaking at the event, Econet Telecom Lesotho’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Plaatjies pointed out that the fellows have been Higherlife Foundation’s beneficiaries since High School and two of them completed their International Baccalaureate (IB) Diplomas in Waterford Kamhlaba at Eswatini while one completed Advanced-level at Star Leadership Academy in Zimbabwe.
“Higherlife Foundation is Econet’s social impact organization investing in human capital using various ways including education,” he said, adding that the company sets aside two percent annually for these initiatives.
To date, Plaatjies, showed that Higherlife Foundation has helped 1 616 students who are vulnerable and orphaned. The CEO said of the 1 616 beneficiaries, 18 have graduated in some of the US prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, seven will be studying in the US including the aforementioned trio, two is set to graduate by the end of this year, one is currently studying at Waterford Kamhlaba College and three are doing their A-level in Zimbabwe while four are studying at Star Leadership Academy in Zimbabwe.
He said qualifying students for the scholarship are those who lost a parent or both parents and in some cases both parents may be alive but are unable to support the family due to different disabilities.
He further advised the students to be on the lookout as the CEO said soon, they will announce a call for the second cohort of the scholarship.
The scholarship covers the entire educational journey including the flights and accommodation.
One of the parents for the recipients, ‘Mamats’eliso Makwaza thanked Higherlife Foundation saying this is “no small matter and has shocked her “.
To the donor she said, “May God bless and increase you and grow this company, these help should not end with these students, they should extend to other children “.
She urged the students to focus on their studies when they reach the US so that they attain success.
For his part, the Principal Secretary (PS) for Higher Education, Dr John Oliphant thanked Econet for investing in human capital.
“Human Capital is a prerequisite for national progress and development,” he said.