BOTAWA is a partnership between schools in Mochudi Botswana, Moshi Tanzania and Bridgend Wales. It began in 2006 as a British Council Connecting Classrooms project. Our primary focus is to be a point of dialogue and exchange for teachers to improve their professional practice. We aim to educate our students about Global Citizenship through fostering links and relationships as equals, in an unequal world.
Regular exchanges of teachers and a few students have taken place, funded partly by the British Council, Wales for Africa, the Waterloo Foundation and fund raising projects in schools. Students have exchanged work on topics such as their culture, rights and responsibilities, water and sustainability, food and recipes, wildlife, whilst teachers have focussed on community links, literacy, special needs provision, management of teaching and learning, IT skills, sport and horticulture.
We are not a registered charity and fundraising is secondary to maintaining the professional dialogue between schools. We are however acutely aware of the unfair distribution of resources between the three countries and how this directly impacts on the chances of so many of our wonderful and talented students to achieve their goals and make their full contributions to society. We would like to thank all the individuals, schools and organisations who have generously worked with us to help redress the balance a little.
Thanks to the Waterloo Foundation, all schools have established fruit and vegetable growing areas to supplement school meals and teach traditional gardening skills. Heronsbridge and Muungano schools have also begun beekeeping projects. In 2012 Kgafela school in Botswana, with the support of Microsoft and the British Council, launched their a new IT hub for use by local schools and the community. Since then computer hubs have also been established at J K Nyerere school and Muungano Secondary school in Moshi. Hopefully Mandaka school will also establish computer facilities before long.
In 2015 Muungano school hostel was supported by Femme International with a feminine health empowerment programme. The school has also begun a beekeeping project as a sustainable income source for the hostel.
We have had support and donations over the years from Penybont Football club, Heronsbridge /Bridgend Herons Inclusive Football club, also Neath and Port Talbot Youth Services. The partnership has been sustained through the efforts of the 9 schools and there have been 17 exchange trips and 100 teacher exchanges between 2006 and 2017.