Volunteering with Project Trust in Botswana is a highly challenging but very rewarding experience, working with youth at risk in a residential school, located on the bank of the Okavango River.
Botswana is a sparsely populated country where the hand of man is often not in evidence. It is rich in natural resources and teeming with wildlife, including a growing elephant population.
Botswana is a democracy and is viewed as one of Africa’s economic and development success stories. The capital city, Gaborone, is a thriving business centre but poverty is still apparent, particularly in the remote areas. The country has been hit hard by HIV and you are highly likely to come across people whose lives have been affected by the virus.
The school is located on the eastern bank of the Okavango River, about 10 kilometres from the village of Ngarange. The rural location allows Bana be Metsi to remove the pupils from any personal or social factors which were negatively influencing their education or lifestyle.
Living at Bana ba Metsi isn’t just about being in a beautiful setting for a year. The location means Volunteers form strong bonds with the pupils and staff at the school, becoming a key part of a completely unique community.
As a Volunteer in Botswana you will teach academic subjects such as maths, english and science in the mornings. In the afternoons you will contribute to the general running of the school, supervising work groups, carrying out maintenance tasks and learning and developing practical skills alongside your students.
The objective of Bana ba Metsi is to educate and rehabilitate youth at risk who are no longer in mainstream education. Pupils at the school are taught to achieve their Primary School Leaving Exam, as well as learning vocational skills such as construction, carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and cooking. Volunteers need to be practical and willing to live a fairly basic lifestyle.
You will fulfil a vital role in helping to teach academic and vocational skills to young men who may have experienced homelessness, substance abuse, violence or crime. You will be a role model for these young men, contributing to their chances of gaining employment.
Peter is not a Returned Volunteer but gained his experience from working with young people for the past 25 years in a wide range of settings, qualifying in Youth and Community Work in 2002. Peter’s overseas experience came as a result of two expeditions with another Gap Year Charity to Namibia in 1998 and Belize in 1999. Having the opportunity himself has given him the experience and desire to enable other young people to volunteer overseas.