Two active members of the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), Reggie Bush and his partner Kim Kardashian this week visited Motswedi Rehabilitation Centre in a move aimed at marketing Botswana diamonds in the US at a time when they are not the best girl’s friend.
Bush, an America football star, expressed his gratitude to be in Botswana, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds.
“It is my first time in Botswana and I am so pleased to be here. The whole trip to Africa is a learning experience for me, as I continue to learn more things from one place to another,” he said.
Bush also said that the people of the Diamond Empowerment Fund have been generous in their time to ‘show us the great strides that have been made’, but also the amount of work left to do.
DEF was founded by US Hip Hop millionaire, Russell Simmons, who visited Botswana in 2006 at the invitation of De Beers, with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.
The football star brought about 20 American footballs for Motswedi students and demonstrated how it is played. The students were wearing De Beers t-shirts and caps.
In her speech, the Board Chairperson of the rehabilitation Centre, Modiegi Menyatso, mentioned the fruits of their long standing relationship with Debswana in her speech.
“We are grateful for the financial donations we have been getting from Debswana, it helped in the construction of classrooms and they also donated combis to the centre,” she said.
The Coordinator of the rehabilitation Centre, Zibion Faker, took the visitors on a tour around the school.
It offers services like carpentry training, gardening, poultry, stimulation class; it has hostels and also physiotherapy.
“The students make their own furniture, like beds, wardrobes and cupboards in the carpentry class,” said Fakero.
Before leaving the centre, Bush pledged more than P350 000 as a donation to help the handicapped children of the rehabilitation centre.
“From the funds that I get from my sponsors, Adidas, I pledge $50 000 to the Rehabilitation. I can see there is a lot more to be done here, including more beds and TVs for the students. I will come back next year to see if the funds are utilized wisely,” he said.
Motswedi Rehabilitation Centre is a Mochudi-based church-related non-profit making welfare project initiated by the Mothers Union of the Dutch Reformed Church, which is a member of Botswana Council of Churches.
Sheila Khama, the CEO of De Beers Botswana, referred to the two celebrities as friends of Botswana and said that she hoped that they would share the story of how good diamonds have done for Botswana, with family and friends in the USA.
During their tour in Botswana, the couple will visit Debswana’s Jwaneng Mine and Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB).
Also present during the visit to Motswedi were former President Festus Mogae, who is the Advisory Board Member of the Diamond Empowerment Fund, the United States Head of Mission to Botswana, Ambassador Nolan, and the CEO of the DEF, Ellen Haddigan.