Botswana - Giving something back


Giving something back

The first thing to do if you want to help protect Botswana’s wilder areas is to travel there, often; the income generated by tourism is the main hope to enable these areas to survive and thrive in the long term.

Botswana is one of the richer of the developing nations, but despite this you may see scenes of poverty when you are visiting the country, especially in more rural areas. Beggars are fairly rare in the towns, but often the least able are dependent on charity. Whilst giving a few coins to people is one way to put a sticking plaster over your feelings of guilt, this is not a long-term solution.

There are ways in which you can make a positive contribution, but they require more effort than giving to someone on the street; perhaps this is the least you can do after an enjoyable trip to Botswana?

There is an established, trustworthy and reliable network of charities, churches and NGOs (non-governmental organisations). If you really want to help, then contact someone and make it happen!

An elephant and calf, Okavango Delta, Botswana by Chris Erasmus, ShutterstockAn elephant and calf by the waterside in the Okavango Delta © Chris Erasmus, Shutterstock

Local charities working in Botswana

One good source of information is the website of the Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, which provides a brief synopsis of many of the country’s groups doing valuable work. It doesn’t include all charities, but would be a good start to your research.

Helping poorer and disadvantaged communities

Botswana has a whole range of good, small charities working at grassroots level to improve the lot of the poorest members of society here, and help them to develop economically. A good first port of call would be Travel for Impact. Established in 2013, they already work with Bana Ba Letsatsi, as well as Women against Rape, and Motse wa Tsholofelo, a charity for vulnerable pre-school children, and would be well placed to offer advice on where you can best help.

Helping the environment and wildlife

The first thing to do if you want to help protect Botswana’s wilder areas is to travel there, often; the income generated by tourism is the main hope to enable these areas to survive and thrive in the long term.

The second thing to do is to support organisations that work in promoting knowledge of Botswana’s wilder areas, or in campaigning for environmental and social issues.

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