THE nation will be joining Her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Mohato Bereng Seeiso in celebrating her 44th birthday on Tuesday.
Queen ’Masenate Mohato Bereng Seeiso was born on 2 June 1976 as Anna Karabo Motšoeneng in Mapoteng, Berea district. She is the eldest child of Ntate Thekiso and ’Mé ’Makarabo Motšoeneng.
In 1990, Her Majesty Queen enrolled at the Machabeng International College where she studied until 1996 before enrolling at the National University of Lesotho in 1997 with a preference of continuing her studies in the field of science.
She wanted to be a Pharmacist. Halfway through her second year while pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree, after the announcement of her engagement to His Majesty King Letsie III, she put her studies on hold.
Juggling between her royal duties, motherhood and school, Her Majesty graduated from Colombia University in the City of New York, United States of America with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Economics in May 2011. She also holds a First Aid Certificate from the Red Cross.
Her Majesty is the Patron of the Queen’s National Trust Fund aimed at assisting needy children with their high school education. The fund was established by the late Queen Mother ’Mamohato Bereng Seeiso in 1985.
Many Basotho children have benefitted from this fund through the payment of their educational costs by the Trust Fund.
In March 2012, Her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Mohato Bereng Seeiso officially launched the Lesotho Royal Rose, whose proceeds are used to meet the educational needs of the disadvantaged children.
Her Majesty is also Patron to several other non-governmental organisations – a majority of which deal with child welfare-related matters for the disabled, youth, care for the elderly, to mention but a few.
Her Majesty has consistently spoken of the need for all stakeholders to work together towards eradicating gender-based violence, child marriage and other social-ills affecting the country.
“Our country is facing some challenges that seriously impact negatively on our social fabric. As community leaders we should work hand-in-glove with our community members and other stakeholders to come up with solutions to effectively protect vulnerable groups and for us to have a healthy and progressive society and nation,” Her Majesty said in one of the meetings that she officiated in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development. The meeting was held as part of efforts to review the social and economic challenges faced by various communities in the country.
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Her Majesty said the wives of principal chiefs had an important role to play of educating communities on the risks associated with child marriage, particularly as this contributed to the high level of maternal and child mortality, among other negative social and economic factors.
Although active in so many charities, one of Her Majesty’s biggest initiatives is the Hlokomela Banana project which she established in 2016 to ensure that every Mosotho girl has access to sanitary towels.
School girls, especially in Lesotho’s remote areas, are affected by lack of access to sanitary pads. This challenge often forces the female learners to miss lessons during their menstrual cycles thereby having an adverse effect on their education.
This prompted Her Majesty to spearhead a campaign in August 2016 to provide school girls with sanitary pads through partnerships with corporate and individual donors.
Under the campaign, dubbed Hlokomela Banana, which means “Care for Girls” in Sesotho, female learners are also educated on personal hygiene.
Her Majesty has said that proper sanitary towels restored girls’ dignity and allowed them to take pride in their womanhood.
“The provision of sanitary towels to high school girls is the best gift one can get for a birthday as it contributes to the overall well-being of girls in schools and their ability to study effectively. They are also the future leaders of the country,” Her Majesty said.