By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The First National Bank Lesotho (FNBL) and its staff have extended a helping hand to the vulnerable students.

This, Informative Newspaper learnt last week during the handover ceremony where the bank handed over the school shoes to the Ministry of Education to distribute to the schools where they will be given to vulnerable students.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at the bank’s grounds, FNB Lesotho’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Masakoane Hanyane said this initiative began in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is carried out in concert with the Ministry of Education (MoET) which helps identify the beneficiary and the underprivileged schools that the banks helps.

The Head of Marketing and Communications mentioned that the giving drive will cover both August and September months, adding that they visit such schools to ensure that the shoes reach beneficiaries as intended.

“As the bank of the #interchangeables, we believe in making changes to the society because the smallest change makes the difference. We strive to help our communities overcome their challenges by providing them with opportunities that will enable them to build a better future.

“Our extension of help of vulnerable learners highlights the banks ongoing support and commitment to drive and build solid educational foundation in our country,” she said. 

She added: “It is an honor to take part in this initiative, which aims to benefit young learners, as the Sesotho expression says “thupa e kojoa e sale metsi” [meaning children are instilled discipline while they are still young]. We want learners to go to school without any hindrances as we found out that some do not attend school as a result of not having any school shoes.”

The bank has since donated over 500 pairs of school shoes and socks across the schools in the 10 districts.

“Through its “Helping Hand Cares” initiative, FNBL will continue its journey to donate school shoes and socks to young learners in 3 schools per district,” the bank has said.

Appreciating the gesture, the Principal Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Education (MoET) Dr John Oliphant thanked the bank stating that there is no better experience as attending school, also mentioning that the school needs uniform.

According to the PS, wearing a school uniform contributes to a sense of dignity and pride.

Dr Oliphant further thanked the bank for recently renovating the library and buying tables for the Mafeteng based Motse-Mocha Primary School.

“Our helping hand goes beyond banking; through this initiative we seek to touch the lives of Basotho at the grassroots level. Our dedication to uplifting communities and betterment of our fellow Mosotho is a promise we stand by.

“It is for this reason that we seek to change the lives of the children through random acts of kindness. We hope to continue with this work for many years to come as we try to bring hope to every Mosotho child,” said FNBL CEO, Delekazi Mokebe.