Sexaxa School, in Maun – Botswana

 

Children living in Sexaxa attend primary school in Matlapana , 5km away. As school starts at 07:30, children from the age of 6, rise around 4am and set off on a walk to school that takes them through bushy terrain, and for the last kilometre, along a dangerously busy tarred road and an undeveloped area. The families living in Sexaxa have limited resources, so other means of transport are not an option although even if money was available, the closest taxi stop is 4km outside of this isolated village. Often leaving home on empty stomachs, it is common for the Sexaxa children to arrive at class late, hungry and tired. The children are further disadvantaged by being unable to attend after school activities, such as extra revision sessions and sports which would see them walking home after dark. The overall impact has been below average performance, inconsistent attendance and ultimately increased drop out rates.

In 2012, this situation was brought to the attention of Africa Foundation, by the community who were seeking support to raise funds for the construction of a school within the village.  Working in partnership with the community, Government and District Council, land was allocated for the establishment of a school and through the generosity of our donors, Africa Foundation was able to contribute the funds for the construction of two classrooms, ablutions and a kitchen the minimum requirements for establishing a new school. The Botswana Government took responsibility for water and electricity supply to the school and the costs of managing the school, including salaried teachers, desks and school equipment, ensuring the long term sustainability of the school.

Timeline of activities

2012 – The need for a school was identified by andBeyond Nxabega staff from the Sexaxa Community. Meetings with community and District Council took place to confirm need and develop a strategy to respond. Africa Foundation began raising funds.

October 2014 – Ground breaking ceremony took place on 21 October 2014 and work began on the allocated land, to build the first classrooms.

August 2017 – Completion of the first two classrooms and an ablution block in August 2017. This is a much longer timeframe than we usually record on building projects, however this was a new community and region for Africa Foundation and in these circumstances, without permanent AF staff on the ground, it is not possible progress through the phases of a project at the same pace that we experience within communities in which we are well established. That said, this project did suffer from a number of unexpected delays and frustrations, including the requirement to change building contractor to ensure reliability and quality.

September 2017 – Construction of the kitchen for the school commenced.

January 2018 – Cost savings on the kitchen meant that we were able to add the fence and gate intothis phase of the project. The fence was erected to formally define the boundaries of the school
grounds, and create security for the future children attending, this, and the kitchen, was completed in January 2018.

May 2018 – The school buildings were formally handed over to become the responsibility of the District Government on 15 th May 2018.