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Living the diamond dream

Saturday was a day of smiles in Rakops as Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) brought a special sparkle to town in the form of a state-of the-art classroom block built for Tsienyane Primary School’s disabled pupils.

Constructed to the tune of P5.2 million, the special block includes three modern classrooms and a fully-equipped workshop.

Attending the official opening in his home village, Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane insisted this was living proof ‘the diamond dream’ was all inclusive and well and truly alive in Botswana.

Living the diamond dream


“It is the government’s priority to ensure that the educational sector is adequately resourced to meet the needs of all learners, regardless of different educational needs or disabilities. We are committed to supporting learning of our young people, they are the future leaders of our country!” exclaimed the VP, who doubles as the MP for Boteti West.

The Rakops native stressed this commitment extends to all learners, noting, “It is important to address the issue of disability and work together to explore avenues that ensure that people with disabilities enjoy a great quality of life and education.”

Wrapping up his keynote address, Tsogwane challenged corporates across the country to follow OLDM’s example and back such worthy initiatives.

For his part, OLDM General Manager (GM), Mogakolodi Maoketsa revealed funding for the project was raised from this year’s OLDM GM Charity Walk (to the tune of P1.2 million) and Debswana’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI), which was responsible for the bulk of the cash (P4 million).

Living the diamond dream


“The investment is in-line with Debswana’s ‘Building Forever Strategy’ under the pillar ‘Standing with women, girls and people with disabilities’ whose aim is to empower marginalized members of the community,” explained Maoketsa, before reinforcing his organisation’s full commitment to improving the lives of communities in which it operates.

“We are driven by our Purpose: ‘Make Life Brilliant’ in delivering projects of this nature intended to leave a legacy of prosperity and sustainability within the communities in which we operate,” said Maoketsa.

For her part, the appreciative school head, Thokozile Tayane noted the donation would make the world of difference to Tsienyane’s disabled students, who number 38 in total.

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“We admit disabled learners from Rakops, Toromoja and Xhumo: 25 boys and 13 girls. We have those who have graduated and are now working in shops and Ipelegeng. Our children are doing a good job, they are drawing, design sculptures, weave and sew dresses,” Tayane revealed proudly.

Living the diamond dream