Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Batswana students in Sydney lend a hand to the disabled

A small group of Batswana students studying in Australia recently donated more than P5000 worth of therapeutic equipment to the Cheshire Foundation in Mogoditshane.

The Cheshire Foundation is a Botswana-based organisation for disabled children and adults.
The group, which calls itself the Botswana Sydney Association (BSS) donated, amongst other things, a digital blood monitor, a work bench with weights, puzzles, bicycles, a ball bath pool and a wall mirror to the foundation.

Despite our local society perceiving Batswana students studying across the globe as having too much money, condones being lazy, spoilt and always involved in riots and complaints, the BSS has proved them wrong as is shown by the work they have done,” said Samuel Sosoo, Board member of Cheshire Foundation.

According to BSS president, Goabaone Molelekwa, the society established to act as a bridging gap for new Batswana students in Sydney as well as to become a liaison between students and the Botswana High Commission.

“The Botswana Sydney Society came into conception in March 2008 with a primary aim of uniting Batswana students living in Sydney and to keep our culture alive…From time to time we meet, cook Setswana food and even speak Setswana.”

Clearly aware and grateful for their opportunity of being abroad on government scholarships and getting an allowance, the society decided to sacrifice a certain amount each month to give back to the less fortunate in Botswana.

This, Molelekwa, stressed would be their input in realizing the goals of vision 2016, that of “a kind and companionate nation”.

Unable to contain themselves at this unusual gesture, minutes after the closing remarks were given, some children limped towards the bicycles while others crawled to the bath pool and those unable to express themselves any other way, simply wriggled on the floor in sheer excitement.

Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, an emotional Sosoo stated, “I am really touched to the point of tears…that students so far away could sit down and think of giving back.”

Encouraging the Society, as this was their first fundraising endeavor, Sosso encouraged the students that, “A thousand miles begin with one mile” and they should therefore continue with the work they were doing to benefit others.
Future plans for BSS include building a shelter for the homeless and in the long run, it is hoped that they will be able to sponsor a child through school which they admitted, would need much saving and supervision.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.