Masiyiwa hails Queen’s girls initiative 

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Bereng Mpaki

TSITSI Masiyiwa, the co-founder of the Econet Group’s philanthropic arm HigherLife Foundation, has commended Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s role in empowering school girls.

Ms Masiyiwa, who was recently in the country for the first time, said the Queen has improved school girls’ access to education through her Hlokomela Banana initiative.

The wife of the Econet Group founder and chairman, Strive Masiyiwa, Ms Masiyiwa was in Lesotho for charity related-work including supporting the Hlokomela Banana initiative.

Under the campaign, which was started in 2016, Her Majesty the Queen helps school girls with the sanitary towels after it was discovered that vulnerable girls miss up to 50 days of school of an academic year during their monthly menstruation cycles due to lack of sanitary.

Her Majesty encourages donors, who are mostly private organisations and individuals to adopt a school of their choice which they will then supply with sanitary towels.

Ms Masiyiwa donated sanitary towels to 140 school girls at Thabana Tšooana Secondary School in Machache under the Hlokomela Banana initiative.

The handover ceremony was attended by among others, the Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki, who is also a member of parliament for Machache constituency and representatives of the Hlokomela Banana campaign.

Apart from sanitary towels, Ms Masiyiwa also donated groceries to homes of vulnerable children around Maseru, while also visiting institutions that are beneficiaries under the Foundation to learn of their needs.

“Let me start by commending Her Majesty for the important work that you are championing to empower and uplift our young girls through the Hlokomela Banana initiative,” Ms Masiyiwa said.

She said she was proud to be part of the noble initiative which HigherLife Foundation has supported from the on-set. The Foundation has adopted over 3 000 school girls around the country, having also spent over M300 000 on sanitary towels since 2016.

“HigherLife Foundation is proud to have been part of this initiative since it was launched in 2016. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to alleviate the challenges that keep our girls out of school and ensure that as many girls as possible have access to the education they deserve.”

Ms Masiyiwa added that Higherlife Foundation is committed to removing the obstacles that prevent young people, especially girls, from accessing the opportunities they deserve and achieving their highest potential.

“At Higherlife Foundation, we believe in the power of the people. We believe that, given the right opportunities, people have unlimited potential to transform their communities and ultimately their nations.

“That’s why we have broadened the scope of our work to focus on investing in Africa’s people – our human capital.

“As an organisation, we will invest in human capital development by strategically targeting the areas of education, health, skills, knowledge and resilience of communities, to drive sustainable growth and poverty reduction.

“To put it simply, we want to build thriving communities across Africa, one person at a time.

“And at the center of all our work will be a focus on gender equity to ensure that our young girls and women are empowered to fully participate and make meaningful contributions to their families, communities, and their nations,” Ms Masiyiwa said.

In addition to providing access to education through scholarships, the foundation uses training programmes, mentorship programmes, one-on-one interactions and online platforms to reach young people, especially those who are vulnerable.

According to ETL public relations officer, Puleng Litabe, the journey of HigherLife Foundation Lesotho began in 2010 with three high school students who were identified under Capernaum scholarship and sent to Waterford Kamhlaba College in Swaziland.

The three beneficiaries later went to further their studies in the USA and Canada. In 2011, HigherLife Foundation Lesotho opened an office under the management of ETL with 260 beneficiaries and the number has increased each year.

The company paid M3 800 000 in school fees and stipends for 318 scholars last year alone.

 

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