KING Letsie III has called on the business community to extend financial assistance to the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) to enable the organisation to effectively conduct its humanitarian work.
His Majesty made the call in Maseru at a recent LRCS breakfast business meeting which was organised as part of the humanitarian organisation’s golden jubilee celebrations.
The event was attended by the business community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals, government representatives and embassies who were invited to make financial and/or material pledges of assistance to assist the LRCS.
Speaking at the event, His Majesty who is co-patron of the LRCS along with Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, commended the organisation for reaching out to victims of disasters during the last 50 years, mitigating food insecurity, assisting people affected by HIV and AIDS, providing water and sanitation and giving education support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in many parts of the country.
“However, these crucial interventions were largely made possible with the support of other international partners within the Red Cross family and the government of Lesotho.
“Therefore, as patrons of the LRCS, Her Majesty and I are most encouraged and grateful for this fund-raising initiative which will, if successful, reduce our dependency on external assistance and increase our financial self-reliance,” His Majesty said.
“Let us not forget that the competition throughout the world for humanitarian assistance is very high which means that external assistance is no longer guaranteed. The backbone of any Red Cross Society are its volunteers. In order to carry out its mandate the LRCS need a sizeable pool of dedicated volunteers.
“Therefore, while I’m calling out for financial assistances I would also like with equal measure to call upon people of goodwill to consider giving their time, knowledge and expertise in support of the efforts of our national society.”
For his part LRCS President, Silas Mosuhli, echoed His Majesty’s sentiments, saying they needed support to sustain their activities aimed at mitigating human suffering.
“We therefore urge the public and the business community to support us in protecting lives of our people.
“We call upon you to celebrate our 50 years in protecting those that are in need of humanitarian services,” Mr Mosuhli said.
One of the LRCS’ beneficiaries, 17-year-old Limpho Mateu said the organisation has been assisting her with food, school fees after her mother’s death in 2009.
“I appeal to the Red Cross to continue with their humanitarian support to other children who are in need. I hope that all the initiatives to raise funds go smoothly so that this can be possible,” said Mateu, a Form D student at Honorat Labreeque High School in Ha-Makhoathi in the Maseru district.