31 Mar The Thread That Binds us
As the Community Impact Coordinator at Learn To Play, one of my genuine privileges is meeting women who not only choose to uplift the lives of children and families in their communities, but have always shown up for their communities and are truly building a brighter Botswana, block by block.
One of my favourite stories is from Gladness, a Mamapreneur in Kavimba. Kavimba is one of the most beautiful parts of my country I have ever seen… on the banks of the Chobe River, it is almost dreamy when you are there.
Here is Gladness’s story:
“In the early 80’s, I worked as a volunteer at an agency in Kavimba for close to 10 years. Part of the agency was a small post office, and my main job was to receive and dispatch parcels, sell things like paints and other things. I would take it upon myself to also do the accounts and book balancing for the small post office. Some of the things I did were beyond my job description, but I enjoyed my job and was happy to take on extra tasks and serve people in the community as they came to collect or send parcels and purchase different things. From the payments made by people sending and receiving parcels, the small post office was able to make quite a bit of money. From this money, Kavimba built its very own independent Post Office and I was given the opportunity to work a permanent job and was transferred to Kasane.”
This was such a simple story, and it changed me because it was so unexpected. Gladness shared her experience one afternoon while I was visiting playgroup. That evening, as I went to bed in my little tent, aware of the wildlife all around me, I thought so much about Gladness and her story… and wondered why it made such an impact on me. Then I realised, this moment transformed my whole perspective about the women I work with. Each Mamapreneur has a story of their own, and each one is different from the other but just as inspiring. The thread that binds them all together, is that every single Mamapreneur is inspired by service… and most importantly, self-belief. Every single one of them is confident that they can make a difference. They are passionate women that can and will always choose to make an impact given the opportunity. Gladness’s story in the end, not only gave her a permanent working position, but also created jobs for other people. Her story has inspired me to keep serving wholeheartedly, channelling that Mamapreneur confidence every single day, knowing that every small deed will have a huge impact for years to come.
– By Maipelo Motsemme, Comunity Outreach and Impact Coordinator