Update on adopt-a-school initiative

Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education have since started the initiative of adopt-a-school mid 2014 which is rolled out by its different departments as efforts to achieve the country’s developmental vision by year 2016.

The launch of the initiative on 10th October 2014 was mainly about the supply of stationery but has since grown and increased partnership between different departments of the College. The department of Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapy brings in small children from the adopted primary school to learn personal grooming and hygiene. The staff plaits the girls’ hair and also cut the boys’ hair. This has brought a lot of excitement on these children and it is also a motivation for them to go to school.

 

 

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The Department of Building and Construction has also come forward and they are re-painting the school and doing minor maintenance.

Several departments are still planning their activities which should be completed by mid-year. The college intends to scale the initiative to other local primary schools so that they enjoy the same benefits.

 

Update on defeating the “shame” of menstruation

Today I am writing this blog with a bleeding heart. This is the fourth month, I have since November 2014 pursued one of our local secondary schools to identify teenage girls who struggle to attend class due to menstruation. I attended meetings, briefed key staff, and was promised a response. Do the concerned teachers care at all about these girls? There is no monetary assistance that I require from the teachers, but to only help with identification of the girls. Is it a difficult thing to do? Is this a demonstration of how the teaching community, presented with an opportunity to assist those in their care respond? What happened to supporting the pillars of the country’s vision 2016?

Just read today on twitter that Botswana government is committed to achieving vision 2016 milestone. Are we as a nation not the drivers of the initiatives which are geared to achieving the vision of our country? This is a call for self-introspection. It’s International Women’s Day on 8th of March. How will you celebrate and fight for women around the world? I have this month forwarded the same proposal to another junior secondary school and just pray that they see the need and act accordingly with empathy towards a girl child. I am not going to stop fighting for these girls, my voice will be heard somewhere and I know I will help some girls stay in school to change their lives. Education has the power to change lives. It should be treated as a human right.

Defeating the “shame” of menstruation

Students - Botswana

I have heard of a phrase “having a happy period” but I do not know how many teenage girls from our local schools are having such an experience. Maybe I should start by challenging you on what you would like to see happening in 2015 in terms of girls’ education. Myself I plan to curb absenteeism for teenage girls who struggle to attend class due to menstruation. This is rather personal as I understand how difficult it can be to go through menstruation and you are just a young girl with no access to a supply of sanitary wear at times.

For many traditions here in Botswana the issue of menstruation is private. It therefore becomes difficult for a young girl if she happens to soil her uniform at school. She can face stigmatization from her peers especially from the young boys. This can be a very embarrassing situation. I have seen some girls avoiding this shame by just staying at home during their period until it has cleared. This means missing school for almost the whole week and if this is the case every month, how many times does a girl child miss lessons in a year?

This initiative is geared to give to those particular girls their privacy and dignity back and most importantly a chance to attend all lessons without worries of running out of sanitary wear. A local junior secondary school has been identified and through their department of guidance and counseling, the girls in need will be identified and be given monthly supply of sanitary wear. This is a scalable project and if it is a success the initiative will be rolled out to other schools in Francistown and as it grows to cover the whole country.

With the help of the local school I am planning to undertake some research to identify the scale of the problem. This will enable me to look at how best to ensure we can support individuals sustainable as the project gains traction and support. I am keen to make contact with anyone else who is tackling this issue and is willing to share lessons learnt.

Comments and suggestions are welcome and if you are out there wishing to give a hand, send me direct message on my twitter account.

Launch of adopt-a-school initiative

October 10, 2014 was a very exciting day as you can see on these pictures.

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Stakeholders were invited to the event launch, and giving on that day became contagious. The former Member of Parliament for the area could not be left behind. She pledged to adopt the best female student in science to buy her books needed to commence studies at junior secondary school. This she said was going to be a yearly initiative.

Different departments from my college also came up with activities they will conduct to assist both the school children and their teachers to make learning fun yet educational.

Despite being adopted that day, Tagala Primary School also in return adopted a child with disability.

I like a quote by Albert Einstein which says “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” You will agree with me that Tagala showed their value in social responsibility.

Items delivered on the day of launch:

ITEMS QUANTITY DELIVERED
Pencils 719
Erasers 130
Pencil sharpeners 130
Rulers 130

“I learned to GIVE not because I have much but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing” ~ Quoteslover.com 

The power of a pencil*

EuniceBotswana

I am sure I am not alone in feeling I have to play my part in the various “calls to action” promoted by my government. I certainly subscribe to the concept of think global act local and like to walk my talk….. Well my opportunity arrived.

Background

Adopt-a-school initiative is a programme which was incepted by #Botswana Education Hub. Its aim is to facilitate public/private sector participation in the delivery of quality education.

Introduction 

Through the adopt-a-school programme, launched in 2013, enables businesses, individuals or groups to work with schools to provide financial, material or technical support to enhance instruction in the classroom. The support may be provided to the whole school or a section of the school.

My initiative

It was through this programme that I derived my adopt-a-school initiative. It all started as an idea to adopt a local Primary School, specifically to donate pencils, pencil sharpeners…

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The power of a pencil*

Adopt a School

I am sure I am not alone in feeling I have to play my part in the various “calls to action” promoted by my government. I certainly subscribe to the concept of think global act local and like to walk my talk….. Well my opportunity arrived.

Background Adopt-a-school initiative is a programme which was incepted by #Botswana Education Hub. Its aim is to facilitate public/private sector participation in the delivery of quality education.

Introduction  Through the adopt-a-school programme, launched in 2013, enables businesses, individuals or groups to work with schools to provide financial, material or technical support to enhance instruction in the classroom. The support may be provided to the whole school or a section of the school.

My initiative It was through this programme that I derived my adopt-a-school initiative. It all started as an idea to adopt a local Primary School, specifically to donate pencils, pencil sharpeners and erasers. There is a dire need of stationery at the primary school I identified. I made a proposal to Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) where I am currently employed as a lecturer. The management and staff of the college embraced the initiative and now rally behind it to see it become a success.

Why this initiative The purpose of this initiative is to give back to the community at the same time contributing to the vision of the country which is aligned to the millennium development goals of having “an educated and informed nation” as well as “a compassionate, just and caring nation” to be achieved by the year 2016. With this initiative I and the college want to lead by example to support learning from the initial stages of childhood learning.  Literacy as viewed by UNESCO is a basic right, guaranteed under the fundamental right to education enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We believe literacy is triggered by the ability to write.

We are all where we are because of a pencil. Target group Target group are the standard ones (5-7yrs) at Tagala Primary School. The reasons for choosing standard ones are as follows;

  • To motivate them to learn and to come to school
  • Children get motivated by being given an opportunity to learn a new thing
  • Since its their first time to come to school, keeping pencils safe is not easy for them they get lost easily
  • Learning takes place at an infant stage; it is wide to open up ventures for children to start learning at a very early stage
  • The pupils  use pencils a lot because they enjoy writing and sharpening
  • To give every child the right to education since not all parents can afford pencils

Stage of the project  The following shows a list of the items delivered to Tagala Primary School on 02nd September 2014.

ITEMS QUANTITY DELIVERED
Pencils 635
Erasers 126
Pencil sharpeners 48
Rulers 4
Pens 4
Exercise books 8
Label stickers 48

On 10th of October 2014 will be the official launch of the initiative where media and VIPs are expected to embrace this event. Me….I am looking forward to sitting down with some of the students and seeing them put pencil to paper….the start of their journey on the road of learning how to make their place in their world. Keep checking in to see how we are doing and do contact me if you want further information.