In addition to its core mandate of sorting and valuing Debswana Diamond Company’s rough diamond production, DTC Botswana aims to be a world leader in diamond beneficiation by facilitating, driving and supporting the creation of a vibrant, sustainable and profitable downstream diamond industry in Botswana.
DTC Botswana defines Corporate Social Investment as contribution in the form of money, employee time and other resources towards the improvement and development of the lives of the community and creating a legacy of sustainability. To play an active and meaningful role in the lives of our communities, as a responsible and caring corporate citizen, we acknowledge the need to make an investment that will add some measure of value to the quality of life in Botswana. Our CSI programme enables us to do just that. In making our contribution to community upliftment in Botswana, we do acknowledge that that there is still much more to be done but the challenges are surmountable.
The following are projects that the company has supported in the past:
1. Díkar Primary School
On 18th March 2016, DTC Botswana unveiled sponsorship to the tune of P2 Million (Two Million Pula), over a 3 year period, to DíKar Primary School in the Ghanzi District.
DíKar Primary School commenced in 1965 and was run by the Dutch Reformed Church. Subsequently it was taken over by the Government of Botswana around 1973/1974. DíKar Primary School is a boarding school with enrolment of 565 students (266 boys and 299 girls). Out of this number, 79 students are boarding (37 boys and 42 girls).
DíKar Primary School is faced with challenges of poor performance, absenteeism and drop outs. The school has generally been performing very poorly in the national examinations in the past years. Pass rates at the school have been below 31% over the past four years. The majority of students at the school come from farms in the remotest areas of the Ghanzi District, mostly from poor families. Therefore, on the basis of the needs of the school, DTC Botswana has entered into a 3 year partnership with DíKar to offer the following:
- Provision of meals (feeding programme)
- Horticulture project
- Provision of uniform
- Sporting kits and related equipment
DTC Botswana believes that the sponsorship will help alleviate the challenges currently faced by the school
2. Botswana Society For the Deaf (Francistown Centre for Deaf Education)
On 5 February 2016, DTC Botswana unveiled sponsorship to the tune of P412, 319.04 (Four Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Three Hundred and Nineteen Pula, Four Thebe) to Botswana Society for the Deafís Francistown Centre.
Botswana Society for the Deaf (BSD) was established in 1979 as a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organisation with an aim of fulfilling the needs of people with hearing impairment. BSD is affiliated to Botswana Council for the Disabled and Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO). The Society is managed by the community through the Board of Governors consisting of eight (8) members. The BSD Patron is His Excellency, Dr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae.
BSD is responsible to ensure that programme activities geared towards the deaf are implemented. The Society operates Ramotswa Centre for Deaf Education (RCDE); and Francistown Centre for Deaf Education (FCDE).
Francistown Centre for Deaf Education is a residential school located in the city of Francistown with a student population of 106 students and 55 teachers and support staff. It accommodates students from the northern parts of the country. DTC Botswana has sponsored the centre with educational equipment (smart boards and sign language books) to address the educational needs at the institution.
The smart board is very helpful during teaching and learning as the deaf learners learn visually. The gadgets help the learners to learn on their own when the teacher is not around. Smart boards can be used for any form of teaching and learning. The smart board technology enables educators to personalise learning for students and this remains the core basis to sound education.
The technology also enables educators to use various methods in the teaching and learning process to significantly improve student engagement and attention by appealing to the sensory and memory learning abilities of every student.
DTC Botswana is excited to partner with Botswana Society for the Deaf and the sponsorship will go a long way in alleviating educational equipment shortages thereby enhancing learning and teaching.
3. Mochudi Resource Centre for the Blind
On 13th October 2014, DTC Botswana will unveil sponsorship to the tune of P1, 897, 590.15 (One Million Eight Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Ninety Pula, Fifteen Thebe) to Mochudi Resource Centre for the Blind (MRCB), a registered non-Governmental organisation for children with visual challenges. The centre commenced its operations in 1969.
MRCB currently has an enrolment of seventy four children with visual challenges who come from different parts of the country. Sixty one of these children are primary school learners and after school they are offered services such as therapy, rehabilitation and resettlement programmes. Thirteen children under the age of six are rehabilitated under early stimulation programme in the centre where they receive therapy, mobility and orientation programmes.
MRCB has a rehabilitation unit which plays a very critical role in outreach and identification of children with visual challenges. During identification, the centre reaches even other children who are not applicable for its programmes and hence makes referrals to relevant centres. MRCB runs an early stimulation and pre-school for children under the age of six. This service for the visually impaired children is the only service that is provided throughout Botswana. When children graduate at the age of six, some are referred to Lephoi Centre in Francistown to start their primary schooling nearer to their villages whilst others remain in the centre to pursue their primary schooling in Mochudi.
DTC Botswana believes in the notion of forging long-term partnerships with its beneficiaries as this approach has proved to be more beneficial to both parties than one-off sponsorships. Therefore, on the basis of the needs of MRCB, DTC Botswana has developed a 3-year sponsorship partnership with the centre as follows:
- 2014 Ė Specialised educational equipment Ė P258,420.15
- 2015 Ė Braille & computer equipment (including industrial braille printer) Ė P800,170
- 2015 - Construction of a music block (P645,000) & procurement of music equipment (P194,000).
DTC Botswana is excited to partner with Mochudi Resource Centre for the Blind as the sponsorship would go a long way in enabling improvements in relation to a modernised learning environment; quality, and delivery of education and overall centre enhancement.
4. Botswana 2nd African Youth Games
DTC Botswana jointly with Debswana and De Beers sponsored the 2nd African Youth Games to tune of P2,500,000 (US$300,000). The games were held in Botswana between May 22–31, 2014. The three entities showed their commitment to their partnership with the Botswana Africa Youth Games Organising Committee (BAYGOC) towards a successful 2nd African Youth Games sporting event and indeed to the Vision 2016 pillar of a ‘United and Proud Nation’.
The games presented a great opportunity to showcase Botswana as a democratic, stable and united nation as well as an opportunity for Batswana to experience and participate in its first ever international sporting event. Community development is core to our business. The scope of the sponsorship went beyond financial contribution with DTC Botswana also providing security planning services towards the games.
5. Refurbishment of Thapong Visual Arts Centre
DTC Botswana has had a flourishing relationship with Thapong Visual Arts Centre for the past 6 years. The centre was formed in 1999 with the aim of promoting visual arts in Botswana. It is a membership organisation currently with 667 registered artists. The centre develops contemporary arts, helps artists pursue careers in art and educates artists through art workshops focused on drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking.
As a way of stimulating creativity in the arts discipline, Thapong has been holding the Artist of the Year Awards since 2004 with the objective of promoting competiveness and quality production of art works in Botswana. DTCB has been sponsoring the Thapong Artist of the Year Awards since 2011 with sponsorship amounting to P200, 000. In 2013, DTCB provided further sponsorship towards the refurbishment of the Thapong Art Gallery to the tune of Six Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand Nine Hundred and Eight Pula Twenty Three Thebe (P654, 908. 23).
The DTCB sponsorship has helped create an art gallery of international standards and size, which is accommodating and promoting artworks from local, regional and international artists. This development has brought together crafts people, visual artists and potters under one roof to share their expertise and experiences.
6. The Diamond Educational Book
DTC Botswana has developed a diamond educational book titled ‘The Journey of Botswana’s Diamonds’ designed for educating secondary schools learners about the Botswana diamond industry. The book was handed over to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development.
The key objective of the diamond book is to bridge the diamond knowledge gap and enlighten and instill a greater sense of appreciation of diamonds in our society. The book is being presented to senior secondary schools around the country and DTCB hopes that with the book, diamond ambassadors will be created to tell the story of the Botswana diamond industry.
7. Oodi College of Applied Arts and Technology
DTC Botswana has donated P300, 000 to the Oodi College of Applied Arts and Technology (OCAAT) towards the procurement of jewellery design and manufacture equipment. OCAAT is the first institution in Botswana to offer jewellery design and manufacture training. The design college will serve as an incubator for artists and will expose them to various programmes including entrepreneurship to enable them to start their own businesses.
8. Central Association of the Blind and Disabled
In 2008, the company supported the Central Association of the Blind & Disabled, an organisation of people with disabilities that promotes the employment of these people. The association, based in Serowe, has now established a Rehabilitation Unit in the Mahalapye District to offer services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psycho-social support. DTCB committed P 391 200 towards the construction of a structure that will house the physiotherapy unit.
9. Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence
DTC Botswana has supported the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence (COE) to the tune of P100, 000 towards the children’s Christmas party. The COE was opened and officially dedicated by the former President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Mr. Festus Mogae on 20 June, 2003.
The COE is a public-private partnership between the Government of Botswana and the Baylor College of Medicine International Paediatric AIDS Initiative. The Centre provides free-of-charge, state of the art paediatric HIV care, treatment and support to children and their families throughout Botswana.
10. Ray of Hope Foundation
DTC Botswana sponsored a motor cycle ride to raise money for the Ray of Hope Foundation to the tune of P5, 000. Mr. Dale Collett embarked on a fund-raising motor cycle round trip ride between Gaborone and Cape Town to raise funds for the Foundation. The Ray of Hope Foundation makes dreams come true for terminally ill children in Botswana.
11. Botswana Music Camp
DTCB also committed P 45, 000 towards the annual Botswana Music Camp. The Camp provides a rich and intense hands-on experience of music to give participants new repertoire and skills to plough back into their communities thereby ensuring that our traditional music is preserved.
12. Botswana Red Cross Society
The company donated P35, 000 to the Botswana Red Cross Society’s sponsored walk towards the growth of the Society.
13. Botswana Council of Women (Miss Botswana)
DTCB committed P33, 000 towards the Botswana Council of Women for the grooming of the Miss Botswana beauty queen in preparation for the Miss World pageant in 2012.
14. Botswana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
DTCB also committed P 2,000 towards the annual fund raising golf day of the Botswana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to raise funds for development, and day-to-day running costs of the Society. DTCB continues to assist, financially, needy and deserving community organizations in Botswana.