When he retired from the public service in 1983, unlike most of his age mates, Gabatswane Peter Kgathi, a former Meat and Stock Inspector at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC), could not settle for any business interest or farming project, rather he committed his life to helping the poor, especially vulnerable children.
The humble 86-year-old man who was born in Serowe Village in the Central District is a man who continues to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.
He is one of the founders and leader of Motse wa Tsholofelo Pre-School in Maun, an institution for vulnerable children which he co-founded in 1987. The institution provides care and support to orphans and other vulnerable children of ages two to eighteen years in his community.
The school currently handles 57 children.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard in an interview last week, Kgathi expressed his love for children and his ambition to make a difference in the lives of the poor.
“After my retirement from the public service in 1983, I tried to reflect on my life and came to the conclusion that there is a need for me to give a hand to the needy in the society as it is one of my values as a Christian,” he said.
He said that upon realizing that there was a need to help these children in Maun, he approached Lutheran Church leaders in Maun and pleaded with them to help build a nursery school for the children. He added that the church leaders offered him the necessary support he needed as they helped him source funds to build the project.
“It was hard to build the nursery as it was difficult to source funds, but we persevered and worked hard,” Kgathi added.
He said that in 2001, he together with the church leaders, applied for a plot from the Tawana Land Board where they could build a school for the children. He said that after acquiring the plot, he approached different organizations to fund the project and Masiela Trust Fund, a local charity organization, came to their rescue as it helped to fund the project and Motse wa Tsholofelo pre-school was established.
“We also received support from the government and private companies. The name of the institution “Motse Wa Tsholofelo” is a name symbolizing hope. No matter how hard it is in life, one has to have hope,” he said.
He said that one of the challenges that they currently have is lack of funds to expand the project in order to accommodate more children in the institution.
He concluded by saying that the school continues to make a difference in society as some of the children from the school are now university graduates.
“I would like to plead with the private sector and the community to assist us with the funds in order to expand this project so that we can be able to help more vulnerable children,” he said.