“The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party but they say nothing. And if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
WALK FOR LITERACY is a social responsibility initiative focusing on personal development for members of the community and learners alike, drawing attention to the promotion of literacy in the Chobe Region of Botswana, inspiring teachers and learners and at the same time promoting fitness in the community.
It is a 115km walk from Pandamatenga to Kasane. These two villages, located in the northern part of Botswana, are characterised by their scenic beauty and huge number of animals. They are a hub of tourism in Botswana, and along the route there are many dangerous animals like lions, elephants, cheetahs and warthog. Even though this journey is a dangerous one on foot, the focus was on keeping one’s body, mind and soul on course, remembering that this is about promoting literacy to the wider community. And to show people that everything in life is possible if you do it with passion.
I was accompanied by 9 members from the community: Mr Wadza Dema, Mr Itumeleng Moarutwa, Mr Meshack Keitsheletse, Ms Christin Jani, Mr Orapeleng Orapeleng, Ms Eva Boileng, Mr Steven Phaladi (our wildlife escort), Mr Karabo Mathaba and Sub-Inspector Motsokono Motsokono (our police escort). On our first day we covered 46km, on the second 49km and 10km on the last day. It was a challenging expedition, and we camped on the way. The first and second day were hard, with muscle soreness and blisters under our feet, but we kept our minds focused and persevered to the very last day. As we reached our last few kilometres we were joined by more and more community members and learners, with songs and drums to welcome us, accompanied by speeches of encouragement. That’s when we felt like heroes.
Walk for literacy wasn’t just an adventure, it was a platform where women and men came together to learn more about the importance of books. Books are gifts we can use to teach us about our world and our existence. Let’s thank God for books!
Robin Sharma once said, “When you fall, rise. When you are in doubt, seek faith. When you are ridiculed, keep believing. If you attacked, be brave. If you win, remember those who got you there.”
The journey wasn’t easy but we made it with the help and support we from our Ducere family, from the daily inspiration we always hear from our brothers and sisters across Africa, who every day are putting their efforts in helping all of our children. The world needs people like you.
Thank you Ducere Foundation and thank you Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Chobe Regional Operations.
Ducere Foundation Program Coordinator Chobe Region