In a new education project, the ROSL Golden Jubilee Trust (GJT) and the Business Council for Africa (BCA) will enable over 80 youngsters to experience Boitumelo Mo Nageng (Joy in the Wild), which engages with vulnerable youth in Botswana to unlock their potential. Margaret Adrian-Vallance reports.
BCA’s ethos is “Investing in Africa’s next generation”, and this mission fits in very well with ROSL’s own and the Mokolodi Joy in the Wild project.
The Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation was established in 1992 when a 7,000-acre bushveld farm, 15km south of Gaborone, was donated by the Kirby family for educational purposes – to educate Botswana’s children on the importance of conserving the environment and sustainability.
Mokolodi Nature Reserve, under the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation, was registered as a Charitable Foundation Trust in 1994.
Its Joy in the Wild objective is to offer disadvantaged Batswana youth a programme that combines conservation, environmental awareness, leadership, and an understanding of world citizen responsibilities during a five-day residential experience in the bush.
Hitherto, the majority of the 260,000 young people who have attended such courses have been able to afford the travel and fees (£95) but support from ROSL and BCA will enable children from the streets, less well-off homes, those who are orphaned, HIV affected, or have special needs, to take part as well.
“The camp is hosted at our Education Centre, where we have dormitories and teachers’ rooms,” says Laola Gilbert, Mokolodi’s CEO. “The 3,700 hectares of land is used as our outdoor learning facility.”
Joy in the Bush came to the attention of the ROSL Golden Jubilee Trust through ROSL members living in Botswana. They have volunteered to help as monitors and are regular visitors to the clubhouse. The completed GJT funding application form, accounts, business plan, and other documents from Mokolodi were assessed by the GJT Trustees prior to their meeting in June.
The GJT meeting also noted the good progress being made by the 34 ROSL supported students studying education at the University of Namibia and the student studying Commerce at the Technical University of Kenya along with interesting project development at Dehradun in India.
Clive Carpenter, former Deputy Chairman of the BCA and present ROSL GJT Trustee said, “The Joy in the Wild project is close to the heart of both organisations – encouraging environmentally sensitive understanding and leadership amongst young people, and developing their personal potential.”