On, Friday, December 16th, twenty youth and four staff members of Bana Ba Letsatsi Rehabilitation centre hopped onto five Ker & Downey Botswana vehicles for Okuti, Moremi Game Reserve as the destination. The children looked both excited and nervous excited for what lay ahead of them, for most this would have been their first time in a Game Reserve. Noah, Solly, Moses and Opie (Ker & Downey Botswana guides) greeted us upon arrival and prepared us for the journey ahead, we were each given a bandana and some road snacks to keep us going and hydrated. The rain certainly did not stop the guides from answering each burning question posed by the children and they provided us with valuable information about the wilderness as we ambled along.
It was a lengthy journey through Moremi Game Reserve but nevertheless an exciting one, we came across lots of game as we got closer to Okuti. When we finally arrived at the lodge, we were greeted with enthusiasm and graciousness. The Ker & Downey Botswana staff treated each child as a special guest and the children’s faces were lit with gratitude throughout the day. After enjoying a wonderful lunch with a riverside view, we gathered at the jetty for our afternoon boat cruise.
On our boat cruise, we spotted an elephant submerging itself in the water as well as a big pod of hippo. The kids were thrilled and had to cover their mouths to prevent screaming in excitement and startling the animals. As we traveled back to the lodge to end our excursion, it began to pour with rain and everyone was soaked but this didn’t prevent the fun from carrying on, the Okuti choir and the children sung farewell songs to one another with such energy and you could feel the spirit flowing through the Camp.
It cannot be overstated how gracious, kind, and compassionate the Guides and staff of Ker & Downey Botswana were to the children of Bana Ba Letsatsi Rehabilitation Centre. Many of the children BBL serves have difficult and tumultuous lives and Last Friday, they had the opportunity to understand how it feels to be a kid again. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
An account by Lauren, A Bana Ba Letsatsi volunteer.
Bana Ba Letsatsi
Bana Ba Letsatsi (Children of the Sun) was established in 2004 to support Northern Botswana’s orphaned, at-risk and vulnerable children. The charity’s Maun centre supports more than 250 underprivileged children by providing them with food, clothing, education, counselling, sports, arts and music activities. The children at Bana Ba Letsatsi are aged from 1-18 years, and without the centre would be lacking adequate food and care, while many would be living on the streets.