The opinions expressed in this blog are mine, and mine alone. They do not represent the views of the Peace Corps or the United States Government.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentine's Day in Shoshong

I have been working with a handful of dedicated youth about starting a youth body in Shoshong.  The idea behind the youth body is to better advocate for youth in Shoshong.  They are dependent upon government handouts.  One of the goals of the youth body is to spearhead programs that will help the youth to become more economically independent and self-confident.  We decided to hold a meeting to form this youth body, calling all youth in Shoshong to attend.  We planned to have it on Valentine's Day.  In addition to introducing the youth meeting, we thought it would be a good idea to have a theme to the meeting.  So, we decided to hold a candle lighting ceremony to commemorate victims of passion killings in Shoshong.  Unfortunately, there have been a handful of those in the last few months.

We invited a pastor from Mahalapye, Pastor Kenny, to come and address everyone on the subject of passion killings.  He talked about respect in relationships and how to have a good one.  He is the one standing in this photo.  To his left is Moitshepi Ramotshudi, a member of the Bokaa Village Development Committee.  To his right is Masego (don't know her last name) and Raite Gobopaone.  They are volunteers at the Youth Office.

Some youth in Shoshong listening to Pastor Kenny

The small crowd in Community Hall

Raite describing the purpose of the youth body

February is a difficult time in Botswana because so many people are out at the lands plowing.  So getting people to help with publicizing events poses a challenge.  The people we asked to announce the event around Shoshong with a loudspeaker let us down.  So unfortunately the turnout was pretty low.  But we made the best of it and had a good time.  And some youth heard about the project so hopefully it will travel well through word of mouth.  

In projects like the youth body, it is imperative for a small group to organize it and then invite others in later.  People like joining something that is already established.  With any luck we'll have more chances to announce the group and get better buy-in as time goes on.

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