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Mission Botswana

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Thanks for visiting the Mission Botswana project page.

The dates we are planning for the trip are for two weeks in July 2017. We are currently awaiting confirmation of the actual dates from our Botswana hosts, and will be recruiting the team in October/November 2016.

Open Information Event

To find out more about Mission Botswana (and the other ICE Projects) and how you can get involved, please come to the Open Information Event held on the main campuses a follows:
Cambridge: Tuesday 18 October, 5pm in HEL114
Chelmsford: Thursday 20 October, 5pm in MAB103

Important dates to take note of:

Monday 12 October 2016: Applications open.
Friday 11 November 2016: Applications close at 0900.
Thursday 17 November 2016: Notification if you are shortlisted.
Thursday 24 November 2016: Interviews for shortlisted candidates.
Wednesday 30 November 2016: £300 non-refundable Deposit due.
Wednesday 8 February 2017: £200 second instalment due.
Wednesday 15 March 2017: £200 third instalment due.
Wednesday 10 May 2017: £100 final instalment due.

Compulsory briefing meetings, 6-7pm

Wednesday 8 February 2017
Wednesday 15 March 2017
Wednesday 10 May 2017

Thanks for your interest in Mission Botswana, and if you want to talk about it, please contact me:

Rev Tony Cant, Chaplain to ARU Chelmsford Campus
Room MAB118
Bishop Hall Lane
Chelmsford
Essex CM1 1SQ
Tel: 01245 68 7722
Mob: 07860 407722
Email: tony.cant@anglia.ac.uk

Background

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:

  1. Construct the backbone of a covered vegetable garden on the new site, made from poles and wire, which has a three-fold use:
    • To give practical and educational skills to the children in growing and caring for vegetables
    • To have a sustainable source of vegetables for the Centre's kitchen.
    • To sell surplus produce to create an income source.
  2. 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

As we’re not sure of the dates yet, we don’t know whether the children will be at the Centre, or away on their winter holiday break. The work is likely to be a mix of maintenance on the buildings, some mentoring with HIV children at the Baylor Institute on one day, some training of staff on cross-contamination protocols, and possibly the development of a borehole pump, pumphouse and water tank. You don’t need to be a skilled builder for any of these projects as those people will be on hand and we will learn from them.

A total team of 10 is what we are looking for.

What we hope to achieve

Read more on what we have done to help