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AVANI lends aid to orphanage

by Lesotho Times
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Mimi Machakaire

AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and AVANI Maseru Hotel have come to the aid of St Cecilia Orphanage with a number of initiatives meant to improve the living conditions of the 60 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) housed at the facility based in Ha Buasono, Berea district.

The two hotels, launched a monthly soup kitchen at the orphanage in March 2017 to provide the needy kids a nutritious meals and have been consistent in the activity. The Lesotho Times was invited to witness one held last Sunday.

Employees of the hotel group also engaged in maintenance work at the home that included painting walls as well as repairing windows and doors.

Added to that, AVANI handed over 52 mattresses and covers to St Cecilia Orphanage which takes care of OVCs aged between one and 22 years.

The orphanage was established in 2009 to mitigate the effects of the HIV and Aids pandemic that resulted in several child-headed families.

Some of the OVCs were taken in as new-borns after being abandoned by their parents, while others were brought in by the police or family members after being found abandoned in the streets.  The centre also enrols the children in schools and equips them with vocational and life skills.

Speaking on the soup kitchen, AVANI Human Resources Manager Lesekelo Makara said it had been delayed by conflicting schedules.

“One of the biggest challenges we encountered was the aspect of time,” he said.

“During the week, our staff would be busy. For their part, the children would be going to school or church. So it was difficult for us to schedule the right time and date for the soup kitchen activity.”

Mr Makara indicated that the hotel group parts with M3 900 for the monthly soup kitchen to ensure the children had a nutritious meal. The nutritious meals will be provided monthly for the rest of the year.

“These children are among the most needy and destitute in Lesotho. Therefore, we have committed to provide the food once a month until the end of the year. We want to ensure that these children continue to live healthy lifestyle,” he added.

St Cecilia Orphanage also receives support from a Slovakian non-profit organisation called St Elisabeth University of Health and Social Sciences.

The institute’s Project Coordinator at Cecilia Orphanage, Diana Haslarova, and expressed gratitude to AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and AVANI Maseru Hotel for the assistance.

“We provide the orphanage with sanitary equipment, paying electricity, gas for cooking, hospital bills and school fees which includes boarding school costs as well,” Ms Haslarova said, urging other local donors to follow AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and AVANI Maseru Hotel’s cue.

“However, the orphanage still faces funding challenges because our organisation also supports at least 40 other projects in Africa.

“That is why it is always helpful for us if local donors can come and add more value for the orphanage. We have received so much already from local donors like AVANI that we are happy for and we will continue to provide more for the orphanage.”

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