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Hlokomela Banana gathers steam

by Lesotho Times
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 Lijeng Ranooe

QUEEN ‘Masenate Bereng Seeiso’s Hlokomela Banana Initiative continues to provide dignity for girls in different parts of the country through the Adopt-A-Girl SMS Campaign.

During her keynote address at a breakfast meeting held at Avani Maseru this week, Her Majesty handed over donor certificates to partners who pledged to adopt secondary schools to assist girls with sanitary towels, under a Hlokomela Banana Project, an initiative of the Queen’s National Trust Fund.

“I am humbled by the way Basotho noted my appeal for support through the adoption of schools, to help provide our girls with the dignity they deserve,” Her Majesty said.

Of the 310 schools in Lesotho, a total 91 schools comprising 15 288 girls have been supported under the Hlokomela Banana Project since it started.

The Adopt -A -Girl SMS campaign is expected to enhance the mobilisation of more support to cover girls in all schools across the country by 2020.

However, Her Majesty explained that when the initiative started, she felt strongly that it was unacceptable to have girls who missed their classes or dropped-out of school due to lack of sanitary towels.

“I then started to provide what I called, Dignity Kits, to help reduce the rate of dropout-rate at local high schools,” Queen ‘Masenate said.

She said following the initiative and calls for more partners to come on board, the number of girls adopted continues to grow.

“Through your generosity, we will be able to add eight more schools. My vision is that, by the year 2020, we will have the capacity and means to support all our girls, particularly those in the rural areas, and hopefully, continue supporting all girls across the country.”

Her Majesty said sustainability of support was possible with strong partnership that understands the importance to keep our girls in school at all times.

“I therefore encourage various actors, including the private sector and the civil society to come on board and work with us by adopting schools. I would also like to appreciate the support by partners already working with us and say, please keep up the good work you are doing.”

Her Majesty expressed her special gratitude to Lil-lets, explaining their incredible support have so far kept many girls in school.

“We would not be where we are today if it were not for the great support we have continued to receive from Lil-lets. I am equally humbled by the special support we have continued to receive from all our local partners,” Her Majesty said.

Other partners include Premier Foods Lesotho; Blue Ribbon; individual well-wishers; Metropolitan Lesotho; Econet Lesotho; First National Bank Lesotho (FNBL); Nedbank Lesotho; and Sekhametsi Investment, which donated M150 500 to the Queen’s National Trust Fund.

Also speaking at the event, the ‎Premier Foods Lesotho’s Senior Managing Director, Mpeake Sekhibane explained that the Hlokomela Banana Campaign started at the St James High School in Mokhotlong district.

“We started providing the Dignity Kits to 614 girls before we started mobilising more support from companies, encouraging them to each adopt a school. It paid off and received an overwhelming response,” Mr Sekhibane said.

He explained with currently 78 000 girls in the secondary schools of Lesotho, Her Majesty’s 2020 Goal can be achieved if 78,000 people could each adopt one girl.


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