Our Global link with Lotsane Senior School started in 2008 following a proposal by Ms Sutherland to form a link with her former school colleagues in Botswana.
Ms Sutherland had taught in Botswana for 10 years and had made strong relationships professionally and personally there. Mrs Milton, Head of the Art Department at Lotsane Senior school formed a global committee with her colleagues in Palapye, Botswana. Initially, staff from Charleston Academy’s Art and Science Departments developed a global curriculum project with their colleagues in Botswana.
Since then the Global project has grown and we now have reciprocal student trips in addition to the teacher exchange visits. Our first trip to Botswana was in 2010. After much deliberation we decided to focus on the theme of disability. We learnt that Oabona Mogale, a student at Lotsane had recently had an operation to correct Scoliosis (curvature of the spine). However, the operation hadn’t been successful and Oabona had severe mobility issues following her operation. Working in partnership with staff and pupils from Lotsane Senior Secondary School, Charleston Academy staff and pupils successfully raised enough money to buy Oabona an electric wheelchair. The success of this project has meant that Oabona has been able to go on to the University of Botswana where she is now studying Guidance and Counselling.
First Visit 2011
Second Visit 2012
Our second trip was in 2012. While we were there in 2010 we were taken aback by the sanitation conditions in the girls’ dormitory blocks. While there were toilets and showers, there was nowhere for girls to dispose of sanitary products. These products were disposed of outside of the dorms where eventually they would be burned. As 2012 was the International Year of Water we focused strongly on improving sanitation facilities for the girls toilets. We were able to fund the purchase of sanitary bins and bags for each toilet, and large scale sanitary bins for use by each dorm. In Botswana, these bins are referred to politely as “lady-bins”
Watch Michaela Kent’s (former 6S) video of our second visit in June / July 2012
Third Visit 2014
Nine pupils and five staff from Botswana visited Charleston Academy in March 2013. Visit the news section HERE to find out all about their trip to Scotland.
Our Third Visit took place in 2014. Over Thirty Students from Charleston Academy spent two weeks in Botswana. As well as spending time in school, sharing cultural experiences and participating in lessons, our third visit also saw Charleston staff and pupils engage with the wider community in Palapye.
We took knitting, clothes and other goods to the Maternity Hospital in Palapye and spent time with maternity nurses, consultants and expecting or new mothers. We also spent time working in a pre-school orphanage where many of the children were from broken homes, had teenage mothers who were unable to look after them or were affected by AIDS/HIV in their family or directly. This was a humbling experience for many of our pupils and one we will build on during our fourth visit in 2016. Plans for this are currently being finalised and fundraising for the trip is underway. Before then 15 staff and pupils will be visiting Charleston Academy in March 2015 and we are all looking forward to their visit.
Watch Aidan Kent’s (5S) video of our third visit in June / July 2014
Fourth Visit 2016
Our fourth visit was in 2016. Lewis Hilditch put together this film using footage from his Go-Pro Camera.