“I experienced first-hand things I had only heard about, and it
was this experience that made me realize the importance of other cultures, and
ultimately improve my understanding of my own.” – Khari, 2012
The republic of Botswana is a stable representative democracy in Southern Africa. It was at one time one of the poorest countries in the world but has recently transformed itself into a developing economy. However, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other social problems have made orphans out of too many Batswana children. The need in Maun is great and this is where Leadership Exchange began to act; first by building a child day care center called Bana Ba Letsatsi and then arranging service-learning trips for American high school students to help the children in this center.
Bana Ba Letsatsi is a day care center in Maun, Botswana committed to keeping children of all ages off the streets and away from danger by providing a safe environment for them. The center provides the kind of care that every child deserves: clothing, food, showers, counseling, medical attention, haircuts, education, fun and games and training, and any other needs the children might have.
Leadership Exchange will bring up to 25 American students, from various educational institutions to Maun. There they will spend three weeks working closely with the children of Bana Ba Letsatsi. In addition to helping to teach, playing with and getting to know the children at the center, the students will assist with various community wide projects. To date, projects have included building a home, playgrounds, new toilet blocks, soccer goals, flower gardens, painting structures, and making tire swings.
In addition to working at Bana Ba Letsatsi, students will participate in safaris where they will spend a few days in the bush discovering unforgettable wildlife while camping in tents in comfortable and safe campsites that are run by professional safari guides. The trip is sure to have a lasting impression.
In order to fully prepare for this journey, three orientation days will be held in advance of the trip. Leadership Exchange has created a curriculum designed to develop leadership skills of youth through dialogue and team building.
Team building and dialogue do not end with the orientation. Each night of the trip, participants will engage in dialogue regarding the events of the day and how they will conquer the next. Each participant also keeps a daily journal in order to reflect on their experiences and what they have learned.
Days 1-2 Orientation
Day 3-4 Flights to Kasane, Botswana
Days 4-8 Chobe Park Safari, Victoria Falls, Orientation continues
Days 8-10 Orientation continues – cultural training, site visits
Days 11-22 Service Learning projects at Bana Ba Letsatsi
Days 22-25 Khwai/Moremi Safari
Days 25-29 Service projects continue with BBL
Days 30-31 Return to NYC
July 3-August 2, 2015
Round-trip international airfare
Food, lodging, insurance, tours, transportation, guides, safaris
Orientation materials, workshops and project supplies
In order to participate, please complete an online application. You must be at least 16 years old.
Financial assistance and fundraising opportunities are available.
“This trip has allowed me to really see beyond the borders of race-
to show me that everyone is very similar, whether you are from America or Botswana.
All people need the same things: food, shelter, and to be treated
with decency…As someone who is lucky enough to have all of
my basic needs met, I need to work hard to help others meet those needs.” — Michaela, 2014