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10 receive Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship

By Liapeng Raliengoane

MASERU – Econet Telecom Lesotho (ETL) has launched another scholarship programme under the HigherLife Foundation.

Called Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship, the funding opportunity is open to “bright” students who are willing to pursue studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and Health Sciences.

The launch saw the first cohort of 10 tertiary students receive scholarship awards.

The ceremony, which took place at Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village, was graced by the presence of His Majesty King Letsie III, Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Tanya and Tsitsi Masiyiwa.

The Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship Recipients are: Tlali Lemphane, Unathi Nhlapo, Thulo Khuto, Rethabile Sebofe, Ntsoantsi Monyobi, ‘Noi Mokoaleli, Miea Kabeli, Karabelo Khabele, Kabelo Tiheli and Sebabatso Lesuoa.

ETL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Platjies indicated that in an effort to aid Lesotho and the Basotho in general, Higher Life Foundation Lesotho Social Business Unit (SBU) was established in 2011, to assist orphaned, vulnerable and talented Basotho.

Platjies also revealed that Econet puts aside 2% every year towards HigherLife Foundation. This ETL does to ensure Lesotho reaches Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education). He congratulated the 1st Cohort of Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship.

Delta Philanthropies UK Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tanya Masiyiwa held that the King Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship is an extension of the incredible work HigherLife Foundation has been able to do over the last 11 years. “This Scholarship for academically gifted students is a result of us taking the time to understand the issues affecting the education sector in Lesotho and providing a solution that aligns with the vision and values of the country,” she highlighted.

“The Scholarship seeks to address the skills deficit in Engineering, Health, and Natural Sciences noted in the Lesotho Education Sector Plan 2016 – 2026. We want to increase the number of girls taking up STEM subjects and the number of medical doctors in the country, improving the ratio of doctors to the population. The scholarship, therefore, has a 50:50 gender balance and will focus on STEM students for the first five years. Our vision for this program is to build strong, confident future leaders, doctors, and engineers who will make Lesotho an even greater nation,” she further held forth.

Higherlife Foundation Co-Founder Tsitsi Masiyiwa extended gratitude to the Royal Family for allowing HigherLife Foundation the privilege of using the name of a monumental individual for the scholarship.

“As Higherlife Foundation, we call on our students to recognize that the name they carry today as King Moshoeshoe I Scholars should be revered and held in high esteem. At the core of our work, we want to see Africa prosper, help our communities thrive and empower individuals to fulfil their God-given purpose. Education and skills development are critical investments to realize this goal, which is why we are launching this scholarship today,” Masiyiwa stated.

On behalf of the Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship Recipients, Sebabatso Lesuoa expressed gratitude to HigherLife Foundation and Econet for affording them this life-changing opportunity.  She promised that they will work hard for the entire years of their tertiary studies.

His Majesty King Letsie III said he was impressed that the launch took place in the shadows of Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village, a historical place. He stated that the Moshoeshoe 1 Scholarship is timely and appreciated.

His Majesty encouraged the recipients to explore this opportunity for the greater benefit of Lesotho and Basotho. He urged them to be patriotic, visionary and leadership focused just as King Moshoeshoe 1 was.

In a nutshell, he expressed gratitude to HigherLife Foundation for extending a helping hand to Hlokomela Banana. He said this support constitutes a critical element as it ensures that girls do not miss their school while they are on their periods.

It is at this event that HigherLife Foundation also handed over to Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso a cheque worth M40 000 towards Hlokomela Banana Initiative.