MBABANE – “Blessed is the hand that gives.” The above Bible verse seems to be the motivation of a new campaign which has been introduced to assist the elderly amid the harsh weather conditions.
The campaign has been introduced by Philani Maswati Charity Organisation, as it is aimed at donating blankets to the elderly across the country.
The theme of the campaign is ‘Donate a Blanket for the Elderly’. It was launched at the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office yesterday. Joining hands with the charity organisation are the Times of Eswatini, Voice of the Church (VOC), Swazi Plastic Industries and Premier Bakeries.
DPM Themba Masuku donated a blanket and pledged to contribute two more. He said the winter conditions called for all emaSwati to hold hands and work together in taking care of the most vulnerable, the elderly citizens, who were a great asset to the country.
Masuku added that the campaign would give an opportunity to support Her Majesty the Queen Mother’s passion and dedication to protecting the vulnerable.
“Although the world is preoccupied with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic at the moment, this should not make us take our eyes off the regular effort to improve the lives of emaSwati, which is the primary focus of government,” Masuku said.
He went on to say elderly citizens were neglected and abandoned by their offspring, as well as their relatives in society.
He discouraged that, and urged those who were not supporting the elderly to remember the sacrifices they made in bringing them up.
The DPM highlighted that the poverty rate and mental health issues like depression could be avoided among this generation, if young people played their part and supported the elderly, who in most instances were looking after grandchildren to their detriment.
Masuku also appreciated the Queen Mother for the initiative and remarkable leadership and foresight, particularly with regard to the elderly.
Voice of the Church CEO Reverend Zechariah Mthethwa said the initiative was beyond the spirit of being liSwati, but was a fulfilment of the word.
Meanwhile, Times of Eswatini Weekend Editor Thobeka Manyathela relayed that the publication was honoured to be part and parcel of the great initiative.
Manyathela mentioned that the company had donated 80 blankets towards the elderly. She narrated that it was saddening for reporters to witness the elderly without warm clothes and food.
She said it was for that reason that the publication would make available donation drums in all its branches for people to donate blankets and warm clothes for the elderly.
Mbabane: Philani Maswati, Queen Ntfombi Tfwala’s charity organization is selling masks to the public. According to an advert placed on the organization’s official Facebook page the masks cost E10 each. According to the advert the proceeds from each sale of the masks will go towards the support of the impoverished. The design comes with the country’s flag sewn at its far end.
However, this does not hit well with a group of business women who felt the making of the masks is an opportunity that should have been given to them, and in fact, the group, which consists of business women from around Mbabane were approached by the Small Enterprises Development Company (SEDCO) and made known the opportunity to make money.
A member of the group who preferred anonymity alluded to the fact that SEDCO provided the opportunity as part of their mandate to raise small businesses in Eswatini, but they were abundantly disappointed to learn that an organization of the caliber of Philani Maswati had seized the opportunity and deprived the group of their sought after livelihood. *Sibongile said she’d expect that organization freely distributes the masks as a charity organization; it doesn’t matter that the proceeds from the sales would go to helping the needy.
“The opportunity was seized from us before we could even sew the first mask,” said Sibongile, who added that on getting the news from SEDCO they were overjoyed since they would be able to provide for their families. She said in the wake of COVID-19 the situation at home was dire and such opportunities as presented by SEDCO to sew masks had come at the right time. “Business is slow and as everybody knows the market has crumbled, so, prospects such as the making of masks should have been reserved for the small businesses,” said Sibongile.
Even the masks have been received with mixed feelings on the part of the public, provoking a response from one of the organization’s volunteers, EBIS’ radio personality Gcebile Mvubu who issued that people should hold back their support if they so wished, instead of being negative towards the project whose intent is to help the most vulnerable of Emaswati.
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