As part of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Standard Lesotho Bank has formally entered into a partnership with Nalane Incorporated to support an after-school programme for primary school pupils at St. James Primary and Tsosane Primary Schools. The project, which is called Adopt-a- School has been funded with one hundred thousand maloti (M100,000.00) for 2015 which will be used towards a feeding programme for orphaned and vulnerable children in the two schools as well as training and remuneration of tutor-councilors who have been employed to assist the schools. Adopt-a-school programme, now in its second year, is intended for standard six and standard seven pupils.
Adopt-a-school is intended to decrease the numbers of pupils who drop out of or repeat grades at primary schools. It is also targeted at orphans and vulnerable children by providing them with meals and psycho social support and to ensure that these children have access to improved learning experiences that include homework, test preparation assistance, reading as well as group and individual counseling.
The project has been recognized by the bank as an initiative that has potential to improve basic numeracy and literacy among vulnerable groups that are most likely never to obtain these critical skills necessary for a better life.
At the occasion to hand over the sponsorship, the Chief Executive of Standard Lesotho Bank, Mr. Mpho Vumbukani mentioned that one of the important pillars of the bank’s corporate social responsibility projects is education. “Education is the foundation of life and indeed our economy, so we are pleased that we are entering into a partnership that is intended to nurture future leaders early in their formative years because a good tomorrow starts today. The primary school kids whose lives will be touched by this initiative are also destined to be our customers in the future, so for us it goes beyond helping, but planting a crop of customers for tomorrow.”
The founder of Nalane Incorporated, Mr. Mathata Mpela expressed his gratitude for the support they revived from Standard Lesotho Bank. He also indicated that the evaluation of the pilot phase of the project that started in 2014 has revealed that the programme was a resounding success. “In 2014, St. James achieved a 98% pass rate with four students in the top 10 whilst Tsolo increased the pass rate up to 86%.” He stated, adding that the programme has also provided employment opportunities to many qualified tutors who remain jobless.
Nalane Incorporated is a non-governmental youth development organization whose primary aim is to provide inclusive and comprehensive after-school programs for children and the youth of Maseru, many of whom have been orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS.