Okavango Wilderness Safaris and its non-profit, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Botswana, were proud to facilitate a groundbreaking event at Eretsha Primary School on 14 October 2022, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CITW and the Okavango Sub-District Council. This exciting programme will see the construction of much-needed school infrastructure to support the growing number of students enrolling at the school, further supporting one of the communities which Okavango Wilderness Safaris is so privileged to work with for decades.
The event was graced by the Deputy Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Mpho Morapedi, North-West District Council and Okavango Sub-District Council Chairpersons, Hon. Kebareeditse Ntsogotho and Hon. Lesedi Boy, together with their respective Council secretaries, Okavango Wilderness Safaris MD, Kim Nixon and Eretsha Village Chief, Kgosi Boitshwarelo Mosenyegi. Other attendees included the Eretsha Village Development Committee Chairperson, Okavango Community Trust (OCT) board members, teachers and the community of Eretsha village.
In his welcome remarks, Kgosi Mosenyegi thanked CITW and Wilderness for their continued support of his community, noting that the additional school infrastructure pledged by CITW comes at a time when the school is in dire need of additional classrooms. “Wilderness has always supported our community and we are forever thankful for this”, he said.
This project will be a major facelift for the school, which will see the construction of an additional two-classroom block, as well as two new four-cubicle ablution blocks with water, the installation of water reticulation and fencing at the school.
“We remain committed to supporting the communities of OCT and to ongoing community development in the area. We are grateful for our collaboration with the Sub-District Council and thrilled to be bringing this inspiring project to fruition – especially one with vital importance to the community of Eretsha. We recognise our role as a member of the private sector in helping move our beloved Botswana forward, supporting communities on their journey to growth and prosperity. We do not take that responsibility lightly; indeed, it is a passion very much at the heart of the Wilderness business philosophy. To see this now come to life is tremendous”, added Moalosi Lebekwe, Okavango Wilderness Safaris Stakeholder Manager.
During his address, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr Morapedi, stated: “Let me take this moment to sincerely commend and thank CITW as patriots, for painstakingly undertaking this major development for the construction of required education facilities at their own cost, to meet the standard requirements of the school”.
Eretsha Primary School has an enrolment of over 200 children. Currently the school has one block of two classrooms, and a few buildings loaned to the school by the OCT. The planned construction of the two classrooms, ablution facilities for boys and girls, and the fencing and running water will ensure that the children enjoy a conducive and enabling educational environment that will lead to academic excellence.