Rakops Junior Secondary School received early Christmas gifts amounting to P331 897 from Debswana Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) and its business partners, including furniture, school uniforms and indigenous trees.

School Head, Christopher Mudala who described the Rakops school as one of the oldest secondary schools in Botswana, revealed that the gift could not have come at a better time as the school is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.

He poured out his sincerest gratitude to OLDM and its business partners for their CSR program that has been the pillar of strength towards education in the Boteti district and through its annual Diamond Dreams Awards. ‘The

Diamond Dreams Awards has been very helpful to our school and students, and not only that, we are very proud of the company for making a difference in their zone of influence through the CSR Initiative programs,” says Mudala.

He added that the Debswana and its business partners have been helpful to them during challenging and difficult times. He encouraged all companies in Botswana to support the education system by empowering schools through donations such as the Debswana one, as it helps to motivate students to work hard and excel. It also encourages parents to play a part in their children’s learning. He further urged the students to work hard and meet teachers half way to excel.

OLDM Project Management Office's Senior Manager, Abel Jhamba said it was important to constantly engage with the communities and stakeholders that they operate within to build mutually beneficial and long-term relationships with those who are affected or who can affect OLDM or Debswana broadly.

Jhamba says they engage each other so that they are able to address issues important to both stakeholders and hence build levels of trust and acceptance. He added that the Debswana Corporate Social Investment program is guided and aligns with about six UN Sustainable Development Goals being no poverty; good health and wellbeing; quality education; gender equality; decent work and economic growth; as well as sustainable cities and communities.

Jhamba says Employee Volunteerism is deep-rooted within the Debswana CSI program, which speaks to sustainable communities and encourages employees to use their skills and experiences to benefit the communities.

“As the Projects Management Office, we have been allocated Rakops to work with and share our skills and knowledge. Last year together with our business partners we handed over an irrigated and fenced vegetable garden to

Leretlhabetse Support Group,” he said.

The Food Security initiative looked to assist the community with fresh vegetables. This year they are looking at the pillar of Education, Skills development, which is aligned to the UN pillar of quality education.

The Chief Education Officer for Boteti Oratile Thonkga pleaded with teachers to keep an eye on the donated furniture and urged students to not vandalise it so that it lasts long and be used by more generations to come.