Saturday, May 21, 2022

‘Operation New Xanagas’ in full swing

It’s very easy to a smile on a child face, forget a fancy doll with frills and curls a child may find themselves content playing with the box that doll came in. as festive season comes into full swing the average child is sure of a set of new clothes shoes and underwear, closely followed by new school uniforms and shoes to replace the thread bare and ill fitting ones in January when school reopens for the new year.

As if to pay for the midyear scolding from parents to be careful with the all so expensive food, during the festive season they throw caution to the wind and the little ones feast to their little hearts desires, in average households.

Flip the coin and on the other side of the tracks there are those children who cannot utter the statement, “I am craving ice cream,” not because they are lactose intolerant, not because they hate dairy but simply because you cannot crave that which you have not tasted.

In the heart of the Kalahari lies a settlement known as New Xanagas of no more than a few thousand residents and among them lies people who have been victims of abject poverty, probably some of the worst in the country. To make matters worse their environment doesn’t help seeing as they are right in the middle of the desert thus making farming an equally iffy option. These dire weather conditions cause extremely cold winters and scorching hot summers which could come across extra harsh without the right clothing and food.

Among this community also lie orphans who have to survive these ordeals either by themselves or with minimal help from their extended families and government handouts.

It’s because of these children that a group of like minded ladies from various sectors in our community got together to ensure that ‘Operation New Xanagas’ becomes a reality. The brain child of Phemelo Ramasu, a journalist with the Botswana Guardian and Mid Week Sun had her heart strings pulled by a group of orphans when she attended their annual prize giving ceremony at the New Xanagas Primary School.

In a combined effort with the School Headmaster, teachers, Social Workers, District Council alongside 8 passionate souls in Gaborone are working their fingers to the bone to make this Christmas a merry one for 16 orphans identified by the school and social workers in New Xanagas. The children are aged between 15 and 9 years old (boys) and 14 and 7 years old (girls).

The next couple of weeks they will be having sleepless nights trying to rally organisations, groups and individuals to join them on this noble cause to give back to the less fortunate people in our society. They therefore appeal to the public to give and give generously for every single thebe could make a drastic difference in the future of these children.

To attain this mission the ladies have somewhat designed a bucket list of what they will be requesting from donors. This list includes non perishable foods, primarily starches; flour, rice, mealie meal and sorghum, canned food and condiments (salt and sugar) which will be a food basket which will be left behind for these children to enjoy during the festive season.

For the clothing basket the primary request is for school uniforms which are blue shirts, grey skirts and trousers and grey socks with black shoes. When that is covered it would also be nice if the children were to get some casual clothes as well including shoes, socks and underwear which can either be brand new or second hand clothes. Toiletries are also equally important in the form of bathing soaps, washing powders, fabric softeners, shoe polish, shoe brushes, combs, toothpastes, sanitary towels, toothbrushes, deodorants, wash rags and body lotions.

Equipped with the necessary tools to be a dignified part of society these children can also be confident to raise their head up high everywhere and this confidence boost will also aide them in performing well at school and just being excellent members of the community.

One of the leaders of this initiative, artist Berry Heart extended the wish to those willing and able to follow the lives of the children being helped to ensure they never run short of food, clothing and toiletry throughout their childhood. In a way adopting them but not physically to help them through school with the hope that they will achieve their goals and ultimately remove themselves from the poverty stricken condition they found themselves in.
This is an appeal to all Batswana across the world to look deep in their hearts and pockets and donate towards “Operation New Xanagas’.

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