A diamond polishing company, DDA Botswana, in collaboration with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), has constructed a multipurpose court for the Ramotswa Community Secondary School (CJSS).
The court that cost P160 000 was part of the company’s community social responsibility.
DDA contributed P110 000 while BDF chipped in with P50 000. Ramotswa CJSS is one of the government-run unique schools because it caters for hearing impaired students.
Speaking at the handing over of the court, DDA’s Managing Director, Kim Lanny, said that of the four countries they operate in they always plough back their profits to the community.
“We have operations in Israel, Belgium, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia and we always make sure that we plough back part of our profits to the community. A year ago we decided to identify our corporate social responsibility project and did not just want to give out money but to identify people and develop a career for them because we believe in lifetime investments. The first group of people who came into my mind were the hearing impaired and then we ended up in this school,” he said.
Lanny also added that in South Africa, together with their sister company, Life Diamonds, they built a sports academy run by South Africa’s yester year legend, Jomo Sono. He said a lot more is to come from his company and called on other investors to give disadvantaged people a chance to prove themselves in life.
“I have said it before that a business that makes nothing but money is poor. I want to encourage other investors to give disadvantaged people a chance to prove themselves because my philosophy is that in each person there is a natural resource and the manager’s job is to find and develop it. I am proud to say that at DDA of Botswana we identified these people and gave them a chance to develop a career for themselves,” he said.
Lanny emphasized that his company is also employing hearing impaired people in diamond cutting and polishing. He said many of them have showed the potential to be the best in cutting and polishing diamonds. He added that the fact that their employees have a hearing impairment has never been a challenge to them because they proved to be hard workers, eager to learn and faced challenges on their own. “We built this sports court in order to encourage and promote the development of sports among the hearing impaired who have not yet reached the age at which they can be employed. It is our belief that if people who have can cut and polish diamonds to a world class standard then nothing stops them from being great sportsmen and women who can lift the flag of this country at international competitions,” he said.
Lanny stressed that of their 250 employees, 60 of them are hearing impaired.
On her part, the headmistress of the school, Rosalind Serumola, thanked DDA for their generosity and said it will be remembered in years to come in Ramotswa.
“This day will be remembered for years to come because of what it means to us and we are all excited. Our school is unique because our population is composed of students with hearing impairment and yet attempt the same national curriculum exposed to all others. Despite their academic disadvantage, they excel in co-curricular activities, hence our emphasis in developing world class sporting facilities and thanks to DDA, BDF and even the Parent Teacher Association. We hope some of these learners will develop into national and international sports stars,” she said.
Serumola added that the school curriculum offers students of different ability groups a chance to excel in sports and practical subjects like Art.
The Chief of the Bamalete tribe, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko, sang praises for DDA. She said the court would not only benefit Ramotswa CJSS, but the whole of Ramotswa as a whole. She said the facilities would help keep many kids off the streets.
“There is no way kids can do petty things like crime once there is something that keeps them busy. Hopefully, that will be the case here in Ramotswa, mainly because of DDA and we thank you for the job well done,” she said.
The courts can be used to play lawn tennis, basketball, tennis and volleyball.