Last month under the headline ‘God Help Us’ the Voice published a story of impoverished families who had lost their homes to floods in Salajwe village.
The desperate plea did not fall on deaf ears as many of our readers came to the rescue with donations of food hampers.
In all 34 families were made homeless as torrential rain flooded the village in the Letlhakeng Sub District leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and misery.
Many of the families lost everything in the flood and were left destitute and on the brink of starvation.
Some of the families found shelter with compassionate neighbours and the District Commis- sioner helped others with tents.
But the story that touched the heart of our readers was that of the Lebatsame family of 25 who were the worst affected.
Their sole breadwinner, 68-year-old Letsoma Lebatsame, only receives a monthly food ration from Social Welfare Office to feed his wife, seven children and numerous grandchildren.
The family manage to receive food only after taking their babies for monthly weight check- ups and getting a ration of Tsabana, which is like a drop in the ocean in comparison to their needs.
The Voice story was published at the right time after concerned area Councillor Lopang Se- butlenyane joined his electorate to raise public awareness of their plight.
The families’ cries touched the heart of a Good Samaritan from Francistown who donated six mattresses, 15 blankets and food hampers for 11 families worth P10, 000.
The reader, a well known local philanthropist who wished to remain anonymous said, “I have known what it is like to have nothing. Now that I am better off, I am able to help others less fortunate than myself, and if that can put a smile on someone’s face, I am happy.”
In the same spirit of giving, Voice top fan Muhammad Asim Khalil of Botslink Stationers and his colleague Dynamic Cash & Carry Managing Director, Osman Sattar, both businessmen in Gaborone, also donated food hampers worth P7, 900 for 10 more families.
One of the 21 family members who received the donation was 42-year-old Mpoletsang Ra-montsho from a family of 10 including her three children, grandchild, her younger sister aged 38 together with her four children.
“We are very thankful for the assistance, at least we shall have something to eat. I just ended my turn to work temporarily for Ipelegeng last month not knowing when I will be called again,” explained joyful Ramontsho saying it is difficult for her to look for a better job away from the village as there will be no one caring for her children.
Mother of five Sepano Bohetwe, 43, who lives in a shack built with sticks, also experienced a time to be happy as she went home with food and toiletry for her children.
Amongst the five children, her second born is a disabled boy who needs her support all the time.
“My child has difficulties in speaking; it’s hard for me as I survive by asking for help from people every time. The social workers assessed me but they are not assisting me as they said I’m still active and able to work. But I do not have anyone to remain with the disabled child,” Bohetwe said.
There are still other families in desperate need of help.
The Voice has always prided itself in being a newspaper with the community at heart and it is comforting to know our readers have big hearts. We salute you.