Poverty forces Boribeng learners into intergenerational relationships

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Nthatuoa Koeshe

AT LEAST 40 percent of learners at Boribeng High School in Leribe come from extremely poor families forcing most of them into intergenerational relationships for financial gain.

This was said by Boribeng High School acting principal Khabele Khabele on the sidelines of an awards ceremony hosted by Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions for best performing students at the school.

Thaba Bosiu Risk Solutions partners with various sponsors annually for the awards. This year, they partnered with Alliance Insurance, Econo Foods, ITEC Lesotho, Boliba Savings and Credit, Specialised Insurance Company, Hear Sense and the Roma Taxi Association.

Mr Khabele said the poverty in the area has gone to an extent where female learners get into intergenerational relationships for financial gain while others end up being exposed to human trafficking.

He said some learners end up dropping out of school while some fail to fit in among other students because of lack of basics like uniforms.

“We have learners who date older men because they are seeking means to earn a living,” Mr Khabele said.

“Some leave and go to Maseru having promised lucrative jobs and better live and take these risks as a way of escaping from poverty.”

He said poverty also affects the learners mentally because they are demotivated whenever they do not have basics like uniforms and end up skipping school.

He however, said the major problem remains hunger which deters the learners from concentrating.

“The major challenge is that some learners learn on empty stomachs. They fail to concentrate because of hunger. Some only have one meal that is provided by the school and that is disheartening,” he said.

It is on the back of such challenges that Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions has since 2013 partnered with various partners since 2013 to bring food parcels for less privileged learners.

The company has also made it a norm to award best performing learners with books, medals, school bags and a white blazer given to the top student as a way of motivating the rest to work hard.

Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions also brought motivational speaker Nkosana Kunene to inspire the children to do better in their chosen fields.

On his part, Mr Khabele said the company’s efforts in the last seven years have yielded great results which are evident in the performance of the learners. He expressed gratitude to Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions for its endeavours to alleviate poverty.

Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions Managing Director ‘Matokelo Seturumane said it was essential for her to give to Boribeng Primary and High schools since she grew up in the area.

She advised the students to work hard and never give up as they are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to despite their poor backgrounds.

“The most important thing is that one should never give up due to hardships or failure because success does not just happen. It is the result of hard work,” Ms Seturumane said.

She encouraged the learners who were not awarded saying “failure is only for a short period but it serves as a stepping stone to success”.

Ms Seturumane also revealed that 50 awarded students would, on yet to be announced dates, travel to South Africa to get information about the job of a pilot and to learn about the country’s premium 80-kilometre commuter rail system, Gautrain. She said they would also visit the Mandela Village in Hammanskraal, Eastern Cape.

One of the learners Nthatuoa Lenea said while they are going through the pressures that come with the ongoing teachers’ strike, it was important that they are not blinded into failing to appreciate Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solutions’ gestures.

“Thaba-Bosiu Risk Solution’s generosity doesn’t discriminate and it helps all of us who work hard and are in need,” Ms Lenea said.

 

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