THE First Lady, ‘Maesaiah Thabane, will on 9 March 2019 be conferred with an honourary doctorate by the Divinity College Consortium, an interdenominational university in the United States.
The doctorate is in recognition of Ms Thabane’s philanthropic efforts and the role she plays in community development in the country.
The Public Relations Manager in the Office of the First Lady, Silas Monyatsi, said the doctorate will be conferred at the Oasis Auditorium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
“The First Lady has been involved in social community development initiatives such as provision of shelter, food, clothing, wheelchairs for the disabled and educational bursaries for the orphans and vulnerable people,” Mr Monyatse said.
“She has also made a huge contribution to the health sector as she took part in the fight against HIV and AIDS and also embarked on countrywide campaigns to sensitise and influence Basotho to test for cancer.
“One of the major milestones of her achievements is the 12th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancers in Africa Conference (SCCA) that she successfully hosted at Maseru in July 2018. This conference was attended by all African First Ladies and various international organisations from across the world. All of the projects she has ventured into are aimed at improving livelihoods of Basotho.”
This will be the second time that the First Lady receives an accolade in honour of her philanthropic endeavors after international organisation Crans Montana gave her an award of excellence in Geneva, Switzerland on the 26th of November last year.
The First Lady has over the years been involved in charitable activities, among them building houses for vulnerable people, funded scholarships for underprivileged children and purchased wheelchairs for many people living with disabilities including children.
Ms Thabane is also a member of the Organisation of African First Ladies against HIV and AIDS (OAFLA) but soon to be called the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD).
Mr Monyatse also said the First Lady is engaged in a UNAIDS supported initiative called the Free to Shine Campaign. In the programme, first ladies from across the world mobilise communities to eradicate mother to child transmission of HIV, encourage sexually active youths to know their status, reduce early sexual involvement as well as end child marriages.
“The First Lady has already visited some schools after the launch of the campaign in the country on 23 November last year in the company of the First Lady of Malawi Gertrude Maseko Mutharika at Queen II Hospital. Later this year, she will also travel to other districts to promote the programme,” Mr Monyatse said.