Young cr├¿che-going children of Gabaresepe Day Care Centre in Old Naledi had an early pleasant Christmas surprise ahead of the festive season they visited the lavish English medium Toddler’s Academy in the affluent Phakalane suburb.
They received toys as gifts and interacted with children from well-heeled families, in a courtesy intended to acknowledge the stark difference in the status of the pupils and showcase the spirit of love and care for each other despite unequal economic disparities.
It was interesting to watch the needy Tswana medium Gabaresepe Day Care Centre pupils intermingle with their wealthy English speaking peers, given the language barrier.
One of the leading mobile telecommunications, Mascom Wireless, has over the months associated with the Old Naledi pre-school, treating the toddlers of late treated to a similar early Christmas party.
“We identified the pre-school and decided to give it a facelift so that it looks like other schools,” said Tebogo Lebotse, Mascom public relations officer during last Thursday’s ceremony.
Together with Mascom Chief Executive officer Jose Couceiro, Lebotse and her co-workers had come to mark the unveiling of a concrete wall enclosure for Gabaresepe Day Care Centre.
For many years, the fence has exposed the school to vandalism and theft. Thanks to the erection of the brick wall, such criminal acts will be a thing of the past.
“We decided to build the wall in the months gone-by and promised to finish by the end of the year…and here we are to live to our promise,” Lebotse added amid ululations of parents and elders who attended the ceremony.
With Mascom subscribers now all over the country, Lebotse says it is time for the business operator to thank its valued customers including Old Naledi residents by way of sponsoring the vulnerable kids.
“These are our breadwinners …our future leaders,” she said.
Besides the P10 000 financial assistance Mascom has given to the school, Gabaresepe Day Care students boast of school text books provided by the business mobile operator.
Eye-catching painted decorations are all over the school premises including a brick pavement on the ground. – Mascom has given the school a modern picture that is a far cry from what it used to be.
The admirations have not escaped the school founder who has since vacated the place to form yet another pre-school.
“We formed the school in 1994 and during the time it was very hard to accomplish our mission because of financial constraints. The school was a result shabby looking,” the emotional Daisy Lejowa told the Old Naledi audience who included the location councilor Ntebaleng Modise.
Lejowa promised to come with the pictures of the school then.
Founded initially to empower women, the majority of whom worked in the kitchens in surrounding Gaborone neighbourhoods, Gabaresepe will eventually accommodate kids into the premises signaling the birth of the Day Care Centre.
“Our aim was to remove the children whose majority of mothers were kitchen girls from the streets,” Lejowa revealed as she fought tears of joy.
She encouraged the school management to recruit more children and remove Old Naledi children from the streets.
The low income-workers residence, Old Naledi is also dominated by high number of unemployed youths with the area infamous for breeding streets kids commonly referred to as Bo Bashi.
Theft and many forms of immoral acts are associated with the area.