Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Farewell, Botswana

By Alison Everitt, 2nd year MDP student

CEYOHO's Basha Youth Center in Tlokweng
I am now finishing my ninth week with CEYOHO in Gaborone, Botswana and getting ready to head home to Canada. During my time with CEYOHO my work has mainly focused on ensuring the sustainability of the organization. Like many small NGOs, CEYOHO is largely dependent on outside funding for specific projects and initiatives. As a result, there is limited funding available for the day-to-day work of the organization. In an effort to become more sustainable in the area of resource mobilization, my work has been mainly focused on finding long term, ongoing, donors and funders. 

One project that I have been working on in particular is the “Friends of CEYOHO” initiative in which we are looking for donors in the community and internationally who would be willing to donate time, resources, and funds on a regular basis. While it is always challenging to work in the area of resource mobilization, my time at CEYOHO has given me the opportunity to learn a lot from the people I work with and to better understand the issues of funding that small organizations face every day.

At CEYOHO I have been very fortunate to work with some truly wonderful people. They are always happy to take the time to answer my questions and to invite me to participate at different events and workshops that give me a better understanding of the HIV/AIDS sector in Botswana. I’ve had the opportunity to attend national workshops and to participate in community-level trainings and events – all of which have given me an invaluable experience that will greatly benefit me in my future.

Madikwe Nature Reserve in South Africa
While being in Botswana I’ve also had the opportunity to travel and see many of the amazing sights that southern Africa has to offer. From driving to Johannesburg (terrifying) to traveling around Cape Town (breathtaking) I have been able to see so many beautiful sights that I would not have been able to, were it not for this placement. In my last few weeks I will be traveling up north to Kasane – which I am told is the best place in the world to safari – and to Victoria Falls. I can’t wait!

Thank you to CEYOHO and WUSC for bringing me on this incredible journey – it is one that I know I’ll never forget!

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