The Sparkling Diamonds of Botswana

Whenever I say I’m from Botswana, I always hear one of two things… it’s either, “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” or “Diamonds!” With an ooh and aah to follow.

Yes, Botswana can claim to have some of the most beautiful, the largest, and the sparkliest diamonds. But for us here at Learn To Play, we know that our children are Botswana’s true diamonds. This is why we have created the Teemane (Diamond) Model of Impact.

Our approach reflects Botswana’s strength in the natural environment, our cultural heritage, and our community. We often say, “a diamond is forever”, which signifies its strength, resilience and how absolutely precious it is. In this way, we work with our children, who are the most precious and important citizens as they are our future. We use sustainable play and nurturing care as our tools – they are pure forms of love and joy – to help build children’s resilience and strength, cultivating an inner shine and sparkle.

In our model, we have a flipped hierarchy where the children are at the top and every actor serves the childlike polishing a diamond. We are at the bottom, and we know that to really create an environment that allows our children to sparkle and flourish we need to work with key change agents: parents, community members, and Mamapreneurs.

We work with parents through a parenting support program called Go Baby Go, offering home visits, workshops, resources, mobile phone support and WhatsApp community groups. This gives parents the confidence & competence to create a nurturing home environment for their children where they can play, learn and thrive.

Our approach with community leaders and stakeholders is to work together to create a vibrant village through play, where their community becomes the most wonderful place for children to grow up.

And finally, we train our Mamapreneurs with rigorous and thorough early childhood development training which in turn enables them to set up community-driven playgroups in their own communities, providing high-quality early learning opportunities through our Rainbow Play Framework.

Our Teemane Model reminds us that it’s often easy to dazzle at first, but what really matters is when you look deep inside, digging deep into our approach and models – because that’s where the true quality and strength of the diamond really lies.

Teemane e a benya benya.

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