Ask Rakgadi donates to needy children at Etsha JSS

A non-governmental organisation based in Maun, Ask Rakgadi, donated sanitary pads and other toiletries to Etsha Junior Secondary School students last Friday.

The NGO’s founder, Tebogo Sempotse, said they selected the school due to the history of abject poverty in their village, “which is very obvious even to visitors.”

Ask Rakgadi, a relatively young NGO, donated 141 packets of sanitary pads, 23 packets of toothpaste, 27 packets of razor blades, bars of bath soaps and washing powder.

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“We saw the need when we visited Etsha last year. You could tell that there was a serious problem. Students were going to school without uniform and some were barefooted. It didn’t look right at all,” Sempotse said.

Indeed teachers at the same school, Etsha secondary school confirmed Sempotse’s observation that Etsha was one of the rural villages that is plagued by abject poverty with most students living under the poverty datum line.

The teachers revealed that the students had even resorted to using pieces of mattress in the hostels as sanitary pads and toilet paper.

Furthermore, some of the students do not have any school uniform. “Many students especially boys graduate from primary school with the same uniform which they use throughout their junior secondary school. When you see them putting on pants that do not reach their knees, it is not out of naughtiness, it is because they have outgrown them and the parents cannot afford new ones,” explained the guidance and counselling teacher at the school, Olebogeng Saokonga.

“In fact being a teacher in an area like this means you cannot keep more than you need in your house, as you have to constantly share your clothes and that of your family members with the community,” Saokonga said and added that she recalled the day she had to give her children’s clothes to a needy child who was always out on the streets half naked.

“He was around 3 of 4 years of age, his trousers were so torn and dirty, he was barefoot and wore nothing on top so I asked her older siblings why they were out with a child half dressed in such cold weather. They told me that the torn trousers were his only piece of clothing and he had nothing else in the house,” Saokonga noted before adding that, “I told them to wait there, went to my house and took out my children’s clothes and gave them to him.”

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