By Mpho Shelile
MASERU – One of Lesotho’s leading telecommunication companies, Vodacom Lesotho through its mobile banking branch/avenue M-pesa ‘school boost’ rewarded its eligible customer Sefate Sa Bophelo on the 30th August at Thetsane Lesia for their undeniable loyalty.
Sefate Sa Bophelo was awarded the grand prize of M100, 000 by M-pesa at the school grounds for having been the best this year to collect school fees using M-pesa in the cycle of 2022-2023. “We VCL acknowledge the dedication the school has shown in supporting us by using our M-pesa services, so today we are here to award you through the Vodafone Foundation”, Vodacom Lesotho external affairs manager Mr. Katleho Pefole said.
Managing director of VCL financial services, Miss Palesa Mphunyetsane stated that her role at the ceremony was to applaud the school and to celebrate their achievement with them, “we began the program ‘pay school fees with M-pesa’ in 2019, I am proud to say we have already awarded three schools with fully equipped computer labs and this one is the forth to reap the benefits of our genericity. We are also enabling quality education and boosting digital skills so that learners get to study wherever they are, which is pivotal to ensuring the digital division does not worsen but benefits our future leaders, especially given the new realities of increasingly digital societies.” Miss Mphunyetsane stated.
“M-pesa has changed the lives of numerous people and we all know the struggle we used to come across at banks while paying school fees, we used to wait on long queues for hours on end, and the most devastating part of it all was the opportunity cost lost while waiting on those ques, hours of learning just to pay for their fees. We as VCL through Vodacom foundation came up with a better and convenient solution of meeting student half way. Ladies and gentlemen M-pesa has transformed the lives of millions of customers empowering them with useful and affordable financial services. With increasing smartphone usage across the continent, we are transitioning to be a digital financial services provider connecting customers and businesses in a digital world,” said Miss Mphunyetsane.
Therefore, Vodafone foundation focuses on creating relevant services such as online schooling, so that learners may study in the comfort of their own home. “We have partnered with UNICEF in providing inclusive educational support, like as coding for girls and ensuring the removal of barriers to education by providing materialistic essentials such as school shoes, exercise books and sanitary pads. We also have bursaries for tertiary education,” She concluded by advising learners to focus more on their studies so that they get to benefit from whatever Vodacom foundation has to offer.
The principle of Sefate Sa Bophelo, Mrs. Manthatisi Molepe stated that a mere thank you is not enough to appreciate what VCL has done for her school, while the schools financial manager, Mrs. Makarabo Mohato highlighted the benefits of collecting fees with M-pesa like those of security “cashless transactions”, filing efficiency & transaction transparency with electronic statements, and lastly, the foresight to financially plan accordingly.
Given the overwhelming success of this wits, VCL Financial Services has kicked off a new campaign for the 2023-2024 cycle, where a state of the art school lab will be the grand prize. Participating schools simply need to collect fees with M-pesa over the next 12 months. Parents are also included in this exciting competition and will stand a chance of winning a share of M50, 000 by merely paying fees with M-pesa.
A student from Sefate sa Bophelo used the opportunity she was given to pay tribute to the remarkable achievements of VCL, a company that has left a map on a landscape, she said that VCL has brought a positive impact to the community through their tireless dedication, their innovation as well as their unyielding commitment towards Basotho. “Let us change our perspective to how M-pesa is vital to our parents, it offers them unparalleled convenience towards security, as well as efficiency” she concluded.
A representative from the Ministry of education and training, Mr. Teboho Moleri stated that they appreciate the initiative VCL has taken in making sure that student have the right tools for learning, “I sincerely want to thank you and your foundation for your amazing generosity, because of M-pesa, many students get to go to school with shoes on their feet. A thank you isn’t really enough to express how grateful we are” said Moleri, he conclude by announcing that they have a new curriculum in the education unit on which every student gets to pursue what they are passionate and talented about.