managed by K. Khudu-Petersen
“Take care of yourself and care for others”
Springboard Humanism Organization (SHO) is a registered Civil Society Organization based in Molepolole, Botswana, with a supporting organisation based in Germany, which aspires to reduce the vulnerability of young women from ethnic San villages in the western part of the Kweneng District of Botswana.
“ I grew up in this area and when I later did my research there I was appalled by the sight of many girls carrying malnourished babies on their backs and I learned that most of these young mothers failed their junior school certificate due to poverty and were often forced to sex at an early age. I decided to take action and initiated the foundation of Springboard Humanism in 2011” – Dr. Kelone Khudu-Petersen
Springboard offers young women a holistic life skill program in addition to evening classes. This program aims to increase their self-esteem, to make them aware of their right to say no, to teach them how to avoid major health risks (including HIV and AIDS) and to oppose gender inequality. Furthermore Springboard offers training in how to run small businesses and how to manage their own economy. This life skill program is supervised by Jes Petersen, an educational psychologist. It gives them the opportunity to empower themselves both socially and financially.
“Kelone and her husband have an incredible dedication to these young girls and they have paid mostly of their own pockets to start up this organisation and dedicate their time, devotion and money to support these girls’ education, skills development and empowerment” – Anna Siitam, social worker and former betterplace.org staff member from Sweden
We welcome volunteers to support us through tutoring and organizing activities. Currently Peace Corps volunteers support us with English and Commerce lessons. Please contact us for more information regarding voluntary involvement.
According to the Botswana Annual Poverty Monitoring Report 2007 the unemployment rate in Kweneng West is 39% (GoB, 2007). This rate correlates with the high number of school drop outs in the region. Research by Dr. Khudu-Petersen (Khudu-Petersen, 2008) confirms that especially female youth from the Kweneng West Sub-District are likely to fail academically. Her research revealed several reasons why young women drop out of school:
1. Disadvantages in the education system of Botswana due to most pupils’ lack of fluency in Setswana (their mother tongue being either SeSarwa or SheKgalagari).
2. Disadvantages due to cultural non-recognition of the two ethnic minority groups BaSarwa and BaKgalagari by teachers and other civil servants (mostly of Tswana ethnicity), which often leads to diverse forms of ill treatment.
With an estimated poverty rate of 49.7% (GoB, 2007) girls and young women in Kweneng West are not only more likely to drop out of school, but are also above average vulnerable to HIV infections, domestic violence and (sexual) exploitation (Khudu-Petersen, 2008).
1. 75% of participating young women have successfully completed their Junior Certificate (JC) through the Botswana College of Distance Learning (BOCODOL), aided by additional tutoring.
2. The remaining 25% will have acquired vocational skills.
3. All young women will have acquired life-skills that
a) help them to protect themselves from (sexual) exploitation,
b) safeguard them against health hazards (including HIV and AIDS),
c) allow them to carry out income generating activities
d) help them develop social attitudes based on responsibility.
4. All participants acquire skills that promote a healthy living by developing skills to express themselves artistically, to carry out a variety of sports activities and to prepare meals based on a balanced diet.
GoB / Annual Poverty Monitoring Report 2006/7. - Rural Development Coordination Division, Gaborone, 2007.
Khudu-Petersen, Dr. Kelone / Initiating Links between Schools and Ethnic Minority Communities, Focusing on the Kweneng West Sub-District in Botswana. - University of Edinburgh, 2008
Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have! We will keep updating with pictures and information about our progress!
Anne-Christel aus Taerkelsboel/Denmark und Gery Reust aus der Schweiz haben beide eine Spende für das Nähmaschinenprojekt zur Verfügung gestellt. Die Nähmaschine samt Zubehör ist gekauft, Andrea Pleitinger hschon Unterricht in der Bedienung der Maschine erteilt und hilft weiterhin, kleine Taschen zum Verkauf zu nähen. Ein großes Danke an die Spender und die 'Lehrerin'.