AS part of its corporate social responsibility programme, hotel group Sun International Lesotho yesterday handed over a two-classroom building to Thabana-Tšooana Primary School in Mazenod.
The school’s principal, ‘Mants’epa Shakhane, had since 2012 made a plea to the private sector to assist them in the construction of classrooms as they were struggling to accommodate their pupils.
Sun International Lesotho assisted the school through its Corporate Social Responsibility office that is involved in a number of projects to meet the needs of different communities.
“We received a plea from ‘M’e Shakhane in June 2012, but since we were on a tight budget, we had to find resources to make this project a reality,” Sun International General Manager, Riaan Van Rooyen, said at the handover ceremony.
“In this country, we use the motto ‘Khotso Pula Nala’ (Peace Rain and Prosperity), but I believe there is one other aspect missing in it, which is the sun.
“It is through the sun that plants become green and beautiful, so I believe the school is the sun which gives knowledge to students. This building we are handing over today is just a tool that will be used to provide students with knowledge.”
Mr Van Rooyen further stated that the building is the first of many projects to come, adding that the hotel group is investing in the future of the students, and in return the students should invest in the future of the country.
The building was constructed on a rocky surface, with Sun International Lesotho staff working together with members of the community who volunteered to help.
The hotel group also donated over a 100 pairs of shoes to the schoolchildren after discovering in a previous visit that some of them walked barefoot.
In her vote of thanks, the school’s Head Prefect Itumeleng Koetse, gave a moving speech highlighting the challenges students go through and thanking Sun International Lesotho for their noble gesture.
“Over the past 10 years, the school has been producing hundreds of high-flying students under these poor conditions, lacking classrooms and other resources that enable our learning process to be easier,” Itumeleng said.
“No words can describe our sincere gratitude to Sun International for bailing us out of this misery. This building will be a great help towards developing the quality of our education, and we are humbly grateful for that.”
Some of the students are still having lessons inside the Lesotho Evangelical Church building due to the shortage of classrooms. Furthermore, the school does not have running water.
On her part, Ms Shakhane said the donation had created an ineffable feeling.
“I still feel like it’s a dream,” Ms Shakhane said.
“It has been years of struggle, fighting against strong tides of life’s challenges. I would like to thank God and Sun International for this blessing that is being inaugurated today.
“As I am about to retire, I am glad to see there are people who will carry on with this school’s legacy.”