Friendship benefits needy children

Pupils with their new pairs of school shoes which were donated by Botshabelo Town Charity. PHOTO: MATSEKO RAMOTEKOA

Three friends act as Good Samaritans for needy children in their township.
When Matshediso Klaas (21), Tefo Hlakoane (21), and Karabelo Lefume (22) of Botshabelo realised that there are disadvantaged children in Botshabelo, they decided to come up with a plan to help them. Matshediso and Karabelo are both N6 students at Motheo College in Botshabelo. Most of the times, they used to see some of the young children going to school barefoot while wearing shabby school uniforms. According to the two ladies, it really broke their hearts. They then decided to do something which would motivate the kids to enjoy going to school. That’s when they decided to start a small non-profit organisation called Botshabelo Town Charity. Matshediso told Voice the aim of the organisation will be uplifting the community of Botshabelo in the long term. “Our aim is to help the children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. So far they have managed to buy school shoes worth a thousand rand,” said Matshediso.
The organisation, which was founded in March this year, is also registered. And after they have gathered all the information about the needy kids, they approached Thabo Trust to help them to speak with sponsors on behalf of them. And two of the biggest shops in Botshabelo managed to hear their plea and helped to buy the shoes. Karabelo said all kids who are struggling with the necessary should not be afraid to approach them. “We want to make sure that there is no single kid in Botshabelo who is struggling. And again, we want the kids to have a good chance of enjoying school.”
Tefo, who studied Occupational Health and Safety in Bloemfontein, said when his friends approached him about the idea, he was overjoyed. “The reason is because I understand that, in order to be safe and protect feet, people should wear proper shoes,” he said.
So far, the three friends have targeted children who are in primary schools between the ages of 6 and 13. “We focus mainly on providing the children with dignity packs, school bags and shoes,” said Matshediso.
The kids who have already benefited from the organisation are from Seithati Intermediate and Setjhaba Se Maketse Primary schools. At Seithati School, at least 298 pupils managed to get free brand-new school shoes, while 37 were given to Setjhaba Se Maketse before the schools closed last week. Matshediso, who never struggled while she was still a pupil said, once the schools open again, they will continue with their mission to donate to other young kids to make their lives easy. And she said they will also help the kids’ families with groceries to make sure that they have food at home. “I hate poverty as it can discourage some kids to have a bright future. So, together with my friends, we will continue to help the kids in our society to make sure that they also have advantages of having a good life,” she said.