Social Development — Florence Kenalemang
Teacher and founder of You Care Organisation
Florence Kenalemang is a pre-school teacher with both a huge amount of self-drive, and a passion for unlocking opportunities through voluntary work.
Early childhood development is a crucial part of a young child’s development, and quality training and education will ensure a child is confident and ready to attend primary school. Seeing the huge need around her for children to receive this investment in their future, she is never discouraged but gets involved to see what she can offer through her knowledge, drive and passion.
In 2008, Kenalemeng was a volunteer at Shakawe Clinic, assisting in imparting HIV/AIDS education to the community. She has also been a volunteer in the Botswana government’s Youth Empowerment Programme, where she provided counselling and motivated the youth of Shakawe to work hard towards a better future.
Kenalemang then spent time running the Bokamoso Day Care Centre, which offered free early childhood education for less privileged children, who would otherwise have missed the opportunity to learn and prepare for primary education. She later relocated to Sefhare village, where she did voluntary work at Tonto Day Care Centre, again engaging with the education of preschool age children.
In February 2014, Kenalemang registered You Care, a not-for-profit organisation that offers free education to preschool children for families that cannot afford to pay for it.
She has collaborated with Mmutle Primary School in a project entitled ‘The Right to Learn’, which offered free education to 40 children before they could be enrolled in Standard One (Grade Three). The model for this project was later rolled out to the village of Machaneng as well.
Kenalemang also looks further afield to the welfare of her community, such as when she organised a gender-based violence workshop at Machaneng village, which was attended by police officers, government workers and village leaders. She organised a camping trip for the Form 1 students of Sefhare Junior Secondary School in 2014.
Kenalemang was nominated for a PEPFAR Hero Award by the United States Embassy in Botswana for her tireless work, and she was later recognised as a PEPFAR Hero by Edward Miller, Botswana’s US Ambassador in 2015. In 2016, she was invited by the US Department of State to visit the United States as an International Visitor, under their civic leadership programme.
Kenalemang shows no signs of slowing down in her work. “I firmly believe that education is a powerful weapon that can be used to empower the less privileged,” she says. — Spike Ganetsang