YCare is a local NGO that strives to raise funds for charity through walking. This year's annual Makgadikgadi midnight walk brought together 85 adventure lovers who trekked 90km in the Makgadikgadi Pan over two nights.
Chairperson of YCare, Moses Koofhethile explained that the organisation decided to look for a unique way that can help people stay fit, explore new places and give to charity all at once.
Koofhethile noted that they were unable to operate effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic as they depend heavily on donations given by companies, which were also hit hard by the pandemic.
YCare was birthed out of the need to help NGOs that do good in the community therefore it was a difficult time for them when they could not properly assist communities in need.
Koofhethile explained that they were happy that the government ramped up the law with the new Societies Act, noting that it will promote transparency in the charity space.
Over the years, YCare has discovered that the model that works for them best is buying the things that an NGO needs rather than handing out cash.
Assistant Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Boteti East Sethomo Lelatisitswe also joined the walk through Makgadikgadi.
Lelatisitswe applauded the people who came out to explore the pan. He urged Batswana to tour their nation to see the beauty that lies in it.
Debswana Orapa Wellness Officer Lawrence Nthutang shared that 28 of their staff members participated in the walk. Nthutang explained that one of Debswana’s values is "show you care," which is the bedrock of their corporate social responsibility.
Nthutang explained that Debswana is embarking on a campaign named, 'my health, my wealth, my responsibility' to encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles. Nthutang said they will hold the General Managers Walk at Orapa on the 27th of August.
Chief executive officer of Africa Alliance Sean Rasebotsa described the Makgadikgadi night walk as an experience that people should participate in because of its grandeur and its exhilarating experience.
Rasebotsa was part of the walk because he is a fitness junkie at heart and he is one of the founding members of a hiking club named Mosepele Hiking Club.
Rasebotsa confessed that it was not his first time trekking through the Makgadikgadi, as he has done the day walk challenge in the past and he loves the night walk because of its aesthetic scenery even though the terrain of the Makgadikgadi is often unforgiving.
General Manager of Debswana Mine Mogakolodi Maoketsa expressed gratitude to the hosts of the event, saying he enjoyed his midnight walk experience.
Maoketsa explained that Debswana’s purpose is making life brilliant and those who partake in the same route are friends of the mine.
Third Responsive Care (TRC) a local emergency response services company was responsible for taking care of injured participants. They have partnered with YCare to attend to all the walkers’ needs in the various activities that YCare hosts for charity.
The spokesperson of the company, Lone Ditsebe said they encountered various injuries throughout the walk like muscle strains and ankle strains.
Botho Treats, an organisation providing mental and emotional health was also part of the Midnight walk experience. Its Founder, Mother Masire noted that for one to complete such a strenuous walk takes a toll not only on one’s physical body but also their mental faculties.
Masire explained that Botho Treats offered walkers an opportunity to reconnect with themselves through meditation. She added that meditation gives people energy and the body the pivotal thing that it needs.
A participant who completed the Night walk Lydia Tendie said that they had trained vigorously prior to participating in the walk. Tendie said that exploring the Makgadikgadi has always been in her bucket list.
Tendie noted that the challenge was not knowing what injuries she would have, even when she was faced with a lot of challenges as her back gave in at around 26km.
However, she explained that these are just hurdles that people go through in the quest to achieve their goals and she urges people to try out the walk as it pushes them beyond their limitations.