The saying that ‘charity begins at home’ sounds too cliched, but for 32-year-old Australia bases Motswana,Tshepang Segokgo, remains the motto she lives with.
She says her life has always been a blessing and as such ‘giving back is a passion that reside in her heart.’ Through her newly founded ‘Tshepang Charity Organisation,’ the Tlokweng born Segokgo recently donated a wheelchair to a 12-year-old boy.
Although staying in Melbourne, the ‘Bosslady’ as Tshepang is affectionately known, never forgets where she comes from. A passionate giver, she says she revels in changing lives and putting smiles on people through her help.
And this is exactly what she did when she received a letter from Lesirane Primary School in Tsolamosese, requesting her assistance to aid a less fortunate student in their school. The young student suffers from a condition of weak muscles. The condition as stated in the letter makes the student (name withheld) to have limited mobility to which sometimes he had to be carried to aid him move around.
The young student, according to head of department learning difficulties Joyce Mokgathu, suffers from a condition called ‘proximal myopathy.’ “He has been living with this condition since standard 3. It has now impaired his mobility / walking. He cannot walk properly. He hardly goes to the toilet or eats when others go for break time because he is afraid of falling when going to the school kitchen or going to the toilet. He uses a cab to school. His classmates would carry his bag from the cab to the class and vice versa,” she explains.
As a head of department learning difficulties, it is one of Mokgathu’s job descriptions to assist such victims and to advocate for them. “I ended up calling his parents to interview them on their child’s condition. They told me that they have despaired and wanted to withdraw their child from school. I approached the school management about the case, pleading with them to take the issue to the sub region under the Ministry of Education, which they did.”
Through Mokgathu’s intervention, the sub region employed an aid teacher for Kagiso (not real name), who assisted him with writing noted, carried his bag to name but a few activities.
“I have known the child since last year when I was transferred to Lesirane Primary. Since then, I have engaged his parents on how to assist him. When the condition got severe, I called them again and asked for their permission to seek help from the charity foundations in and around Gaborone. This is when I discovered Tshepang Charity Organization. After writing them a letter narrating the boy’s condition, they saw a need to help and provided him with a wheelchair,” she says.
Segokgo for her part says when the message from Mokgathu, they could not act promptly. They had to follow their procedure and also the student had to be on a waiting list as the where a number of people requesting assistance. However, they had to relent as Mokgathu constantly made updates on the situation as it was worsening.
“We decided to acquire the chair and do a handover ceremony to show the boy that he is valued and loved. We made decorations at the primary school and called on Eskimos, Ntonka and Girly Odibody to make special appearance,”
Segokgo says when she heard the boy’s story, she was moved and compelled to help one way or the other. “As much as sometimes offering aid is close to impossible, we try our level best with my team to give aid where possible. And we hope as well that as time goes on, we might acquire assistance as well and gain one or two sponsor,” she says.