DUMELA! I’M PRIYANKA, LEGO BUILDER, MUM OF TWO, LEADER IN LEARNING AND CHANGE MAKER FOR PARENTS IN BOTSWANA, THE BEAUTIFUL PLACE I’M PROUD TO CALL HOME.

When I became a mother, I dreamed of my daughter learning through play. We spent hours creating with play dough, indulging in nature play in our garden and building with LEGO and I longed for this to continue as she embarked on life as a preschooler.

 

Having spent my post-higher education years (where I studied English, a Masters degree in social psychology and finally, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Oxford) working in inner city London schools, I know the importance of play and wellbeing for children, families and communities. Play should be the foundation for preschool learning and for many children, it’s the best way to thrive in their early years.

 

However, after searching unsuccessfully for a play-centred preschool for my daughter that prioritised wellbeing over academic readiness, I realised if I wanted this for my own children I’d have to create it myself.

 

So I did.

DUMELA! I’M PRIYANKA, LEGO BUILDER, MUM OF TWO, LEADER IN LEARNING AND CHANGE MAKER FOR PARENTS IN BOTSWANA, THE BEAUTIFUL PLACE I’M PROUD TO CALL HOME.

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When I became a mother, I dreamed of my daughter learning through play. We spent hours creating with play dough, indulging in nature play in our garden, and building with LEGO and I longed for this to continue as she embarked on life as a preschooler.

 

Having spent my post-higher education years (where I studied English, a Masters degree in social psychology, and finally, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Oxford) and working in inner-city London schools, I know the importance of play and wellbeing for children, families, and communities. Play should be the foundation for preschool learning and for many children, it’s the best way to thrive in their early years.

However, after searching unsuccessfully for a play-center preschool for my daughter that prioritized wellbeing over academic readiness, I realized if I wanted this for my own children I’d have to create it myself.

 

So I did.

HELPING BOTSWANA DREAM BIG

In 2014, REWA Little Einsteins was born.

 

After labour of love, in 2014, Little Einsteins was born. A play-based preschool in Gaborone, offering 2 to 5-year-old children early years education.

 

If you’re looking for a place for your child to thrive, I’m proud to say this is it.  I enrolled my daughter in 2016 and have since welcomed more than 150 children and their families to our school.

 

The days are spent building with LEGO, cooking up creations, in music and dance, swimming, using their imaginations in role play and fantasy, painting and creating and more… When the children leave us to go to primary school, they leave with big smiles and full hearts ready to take on their next level of learning.

 

Focused on play, not profit, to this day REWA Little Einsteins is the only not-for-profit preschool in Botswana that benefits the entire community.

 

Every child enrolled at Little Einsteins simultaneously supports a cycle of sustainable early childhood education for those most in need, with school fees helping to fund another child’s early years learning through community playgroups across Botswana. Can you imagine how good that feels?

 

We offer this funding through Learn to Play, a social impact business working with children and families across the country who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access early learning, the opportunity to play, learn and thrive.

 

Botswana is our home and our playground. Are you ready to learn through play?

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A play-centered cycle of uplifting communities   

 

In 2021, Learn to Play became Botswana’s first early childhood social business (incorporating REWA Little Einsteins). With an ambition to create a play-centered sustainable cycle of transformation for the next generation, we believe there’s an opportunity to make a life-changing impact on the lives of children, families, and communities across the country.

 

How can we do this? By inspiring women across Botswana to be creative and playful with their children, demonstrating the potential of possibility and childhood ambitions, and nurturing their skills, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit to show them what’s possible.

 

And it’s working. The stories I’ve been told by the incredible women and children I’ve already met are proof that what we’re doing through Learn to Play is really working.

 

Children who now have big ambitions. Like the 5-year-old I met who’s ready to change the world – he says he wants to be our next President.

 

Women who were once marginalized and unemployed are now head-of-household income earners, part of a nationwide peer support group of Mamapreneurs leading change in their communities and creating vibrant villages through play.

 

Can you imagine a world where quality early childhood development isn’t a luxury? I can.

 

Inspiring and nurturing future generations through play, from all backgrounds, is a step in the right direction and we’re planning even more giant leaps. But we can’t do it without you.

 

Learn to Play is a not-for-profit organization. All the money we receive goes straight into helping our communities (it’s not used to fund our organizational running costs, income from REWA Little Einsteins covers this). Which means we need your help to make a difference. It’s not hard, we promise, it’s child’s play really.

We’re looking for more play heroes like you

 

I’m proud to live, work and raise my family here in beautiful Botswana. A country of incredible nature, people, culture and community. And there’s nothing I love more than connecting women and children through the universal language of play.

 

Play is powerful, it’s transformative and yet I’ve seen first-hand that it’s not an accessible option for many families in our country. It’s my mission to change that.

 

We’re proud to be Botswana’s first early childhood social impact business, a country brimming with vibrancy and possibility. Through Learn to Play, we enhance the positive aspects of traditional rural life by reducing the challenges faced in our communities. But we can’t do it alone.

 

If you’re interested in helping us create vibrant villages, one child and mama at a time, we’d love to tell you more. Let’s celebrate the place we call home and the difference we’re making as an organisation built on pillars of play, sustainability and community.