Standard bank and Vodacom team up

Lesotho Times
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Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso (left) tours The Hub during the launch ceremony on Tuesday.
Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso (left) tours The Hub during the launch ceremony on Tuesday.
Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso (left) tours The Hub during the launch ceremony on Tuesday.

. . . sponsor digital technology hub for Morija

Rethabile Pitso
STANDARD Lesotho Bank (SLB) and Vodacom Lesotho Foundation have jointly sponsored a creative technology laboratory at Morija Museum and Archives (MMA) which provides the surrounding community access to internet services and digital educational tools.

SLB bankrolled “The Hub”, as the facility is known, to the tune of M200 000, which was used to purchase computers, a digital projector and desks, while the Vodacom Foundation provided high speed internet access. The bank also installed lighting in the MMA’s Amphitheatre and Heritage Park, improved landscaping and rehabilitated the ablution facilities.

The Hub is meant to provide young learners with online resources for their schoolwork, revision and research projects. It is also set to provide out-of-school youths with a facility to develop their computer literacy skills. The facility will also offer workshops on a range of subjects including basic computer training, photography, filmmaking, graphic design, creative writing and web design. It will also provide a place for young Basotho clothing designers to sell their work.

The Hub was officially launched by Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso on Tuesday, in a ceremony attended by Tourism, Environment and Culture Minister Likeleli Tampane, SLB Chief Executive Mpho Vumbukani and Vodacom Foundation Manager Mpho Brown among others.

In his remarks, Mr Vumbukani implored the surrounding communities to make use of The Hub and ensure the facilities are fully utilised.

“The Hub is open for use to everybody and is not limited to the Morija community, but also to those visiting the facility,” Mr Vumbukani said.

“Standard Lesotho Bank has contributed M200 000 which was used to buy a digital projector, computers, and desks as well as providing security for the equipment.”

“We would like to see this facility being accessed by everyone, especially the youth who stand to benefit greatly from using the internet to complete their assignments.

“Please make use of this facility to avoid a situation where the equipment lies idle. Let us cultivate a culture of making use of resources that benefit us.”

He also urged other stakeholders to extend a helping hand towards improving the facility.

Vodacom Foundation Manager, Mpho Brown, said the establishment of The Hub was among the many projects they were undertaking to address various challenges in line with the government’s National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP).

“The Vodacom Foundation was founded as Vodacom Lesotho’s corporate social responsibility arm to initiate projects identified to benefit Basotho,” Mr Brown said.

“We often review our programmes, whenever the need arises, in order to keep up with the dynamic needs that present themselves as we strive to fulfil government’s NSDP.

“Our focus is steered towards strengthening gender equality, health, education and economic empowerment. We believe those four pillars are held together by technology which, when used correctly, can allow government to leapfrog into an advanced stage of development.”

He said studies had shown that internet usage increased a country’s gross domestic product by 10 percent, adding that such findings had prompted the Vodacom Foundation to slot such initiatives as The Hub into their programmes.

“We are also thankful to corporates such as SLB for encouraging development that is not only government-driven, but also driven by corporate bodies which come together,” Mr Brown

MMA Board representative Fusi Sekulisa expressed gratitude for the initiatives, saying it would go a long way towards enhancing computer literacy among students of surrounding schools.

“The Hub is where the greater Morija community, particularly its youth, will be able to access digital technology and some of the wealth of information available on the internet in order to assist them with their studies,” Reverend Sekulisa said.

“They will also be able to participate in workshops and other activities in order to gain or improve their skills in graphics, website design and management, photography as well as film and editing using computers and other resources available at The Hub.”

He said through the facility, writing skills would be nurtured as well as “positive, socially relevant exhibitions and activities”.

“However, The Hub is not limited to the youth of Morija, but to students, teachers and others from the greater Makhoarane area and elsewhere,” said Reverend Sekulisa.

“Further improvements are still to be made; the Amphitheatre requires change rooms, steps, pathways, public art and other features. At the Heritage Park, we are seeking partners to assist with a permanent stage, water, ablution and camping facilities.”

He said the renovations made over the past year to both the Amphitheatre and Heritage Park had ensured they were now ready for hire.

“None of these improvements would have been possible without strong and committed partners. In this regard, we would like to express our genuine appreciation and gratitude to Standard Lesotho Bank and the Vodacom Foundation,” the reverend said.

“Without their support over the last year, we would not be in a position to launch these new community resources today.”

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