School attendance in Kareng is said to have improved considerably since the introduction of Kareng Sports Festival in November 2021. The festival, held annually is said to be bearing Kareng Primary School’s RADS hostel results, is also said to have contributed to the improvement of their mental and social being.
Wecho Trust in partnership with North West District Council (NWDC) through the Social and Community Development program has introduced different sporting codes that include volleyball, netball, judo, boxing and table tennis in the festival. Wecho is a social impact trust which supports, promotes and celebrates the use of sport and physical activity to address issues affecting communities.
The 2nd annual of the festival was held on the 19th November 2022 in Kareng village following the inaugural one held in November last year. Kareng hostels accommodate 231 children under the Rural Areas Development Program (RADP) that is meant to achieve social and economic development of people living in the rural areas.
Speaking at a press conference held in Maun recently, NWDC Chief Social and Community Development Officer, Kebalepile Horatious appreciated that ever since the introduction of different sporting codes, cases of children absconding, which used to be prevalent have since gone down.
Before the introduction of sports at the hostels, they used to receive many reports of children who refused to return to hostels when schools reopen.
She added that the interaction between children, staff and the community has also improved to a level where parents have volunteered to coach children in the various sporting codes. Horatious stated that they have also observed that students are even happier and entertained to be involved in sports.
“We are so grateful to Wecho Trust for coming up with the program, our believe is that in the future we will have some professional sports personnel who will represent Botswana abroad,” Horatious said.
For her part, Wecho Trust Director, Tsosi Magang said after realising different challenges that children at the hostel were facing, they saw the need to introduce various sporting codes, for a positive impact on the beneficiaries.
Magang said the initiative followed a consideration on the role that sport plays in moulding children to be academically, physically, mentally and psychological fit.
“Sport in not only about going out to compete and getting medals, it is also about fitness and entertainment, it makes us feel good when we see those children happy and interactive,” she said.
Magang noted that last year, they built volleyball and netball courts and also introduced judo, boxing and table tennis at the hostels with an aim to help enable the students to explore their talents in various sporting codes.
“The children are now more interested in school since the introduction of the program, they are willing to learn because they know that when coming to school they will get involved in different sporting activities,” said Magang.
She revealed that this year they have introduced new sporting codes being karate and chess, indicating that their intention is to also bring in rugby and basketball.