Mission Botswana works at the Resource Centre for the Blind in the small town of Mochudi, about a 45 minute drive north of Botswana's capital city, Gaborone.
The Centre is a residential home for the rehabilitation, resourcing, personal development and promotion of education of around 70 visually impaired and disabled children aged from about 3 to 16 years. They have that number again on a waiting list.
The Centre is over-populated in a series of old buildings. The buildings need ongoing maintenance, the resources need updating, and the staff wants our input into their development.
They have been given a new, flat site on which they plan to build a brand new, purpose-built Centre for the children. The Rotary Club of Gaborone introduced our University to the project as they had done some work with them previously. Therefore, in conjunction with Rotary, they have embarked upon the development of the new site that will be big enough to house all the children who require it, and develop the resources necessary for offering holistic care.
What we have done so far:
In 2014 the team the inaugural Mission Botswana team did two main things while there:
Construct the backbone of a covered vegetable garden on the new site, made from poles and wire, which has a three-fold use:
Work with the children in the current Centre developing some sensory education aids and teaching programmes.
In 2015 the team were asked by the Centre to construct a new Sensory Room for the pre-school children. This was a great piece of work that has lasting value to the Centre. And apparently it’s the only Sensory Room in all of southern Africa. It was great to see the children’s and staff’s faces when they first encountered their new room and played in it for the very first time.
In 2016 the team worked on the main Centre’s accommodation and play areas. This was around arranging some maintenance on the covering of the play area, painting and repairing some of the surrounds, developing a new room as a sick bay, and redecorating a social space in the accommodation block.
Each of the trips has also incorporated a visit to the Baylor Institute (http://www.bipai.org/botswana/) to help mentor children who are HIV positive with their homework. This is a very rewarding time for our team.
Each trip is rounded off at the end with a two-day Game Park trip into South Africa to an eco-lodge, Mosetlha in Madikwe Game Reserve
Who we need for the next trip
We'll be looking for a mixed team of students with particular skills in building maintenance, primary teaching, music therapy, gardening skills, marketing, and sport.
A total team of ten would be sufficient to get enough work done to make the trip viable over a two-week period.
What we hope to achieve