End Malaria Campaign and ToyJoy Project 2010

by Benson Kedumele from Gaborone, Botswana

Burbank and Gaborone sister schools join forces to eradicate Malaria
Team ready to distribute nets and educate people
Team ready to distribute nets and educate people

Through the internet, students from Gaborone Senior Secondary and Burbank High Schools have been sharing some thoughtful ideas on malaria eradication plans. One of the ideas was the "Malaria Campaign 2010". Through the help of the government of Botswana both parties agreed to host it in Parakarungu Village. The village is one of the hot spots of malaria in Botswana - that is to say, a lot of reported cases were from this area. The Burbank school sent two teacher delegates, Doug Grimshaw and Dena Zelig, to join the Gaborone Senior School team. From Gaborone Senior was Tommie Hamaluba (teacher and programme director), Benson Kedumele (team leader) and 10 students.

GSS student Lisa explaining how to use a net
GSS student Lisa explaining how to use a net

Our target in 2010 was to donate 500 treated, long-lasting bed nets. Our friends from Burbank embarked on the fund raising and we are so thankful they raised enough money to purchase the nets.

In his appreciation note, Hamaluba said that the friendship between the two schools and cities will go a long way in their social relations as well as cultural exchange. Benson Kedumele congratulated his peers in California for standing with them all the way. He specifically thanked the staff and students of Burbank for their continued support, not only to his school but their country. In conclusion, Ms. Zelig called for more youth empowerment not only between two schools but between Botswana and USA. Mr. Grimshaw said that, as teachers, they have a huge responsibility to raise youngsters in proper and upright ways and what he saw between Burbank and Gaborone Senior was the result of their efforts.

Providing bed net to a villager.
Providing bed net to a villager.

On Tuesday July 20th, one of our exciting moments was when we crossed over to Zambia. We travelled by ferry across the Zambezi River. In Zambia the team had the chance to visit Livingstone (a missionary town) and Victoria Falls (one of top enriching tourism sites in the world). After a long and exciting day at Victoria Falls we had lunch at Livingstone's five star hotel. We would like to give our sincere appreciation to Bobbie Hamaluba, who was our host and tour guide in Zambia.

Wednesday 21st, we left early to a meeting council of officials at the Chobe Rural Administration offices. Tommie Hamaluba and Benson Kedumele represented the team at that meeting. Representing the council was Council chairman, secretary, Chief environment office, Mr. Mosweu. The agenda dwelt much on the campaign. At the end of the meeting we handed over clothing donations to the council, thus upholding one of our club objectives of providing accessible care to the less fortunate.

We left for Parakarungu at 3 pm on a gravel road, traveling for over 100 km (approximately 60 miles), and arrived late in the evening.

Thursday 22nd was the day scheduled for two important events: the TOY JOY PROJECT and COMMUNITY CLEANING CAMPAIGN.

Tommie gives kids toys for Toyjoy project
Tommie gives kids toys for Toyjoy project

We gathered at the kgotla (public meeting place) around 8am for a quick guide through the village by the village elders. From 9-11am we had the cleaning project, thereafter the Toyjoy initiative. Toyjoy is our yearly programme where we donate toys to children of age 5 and below. We also call this project the 'FINNISH PARTNERSHIP' because we receive these toys from our partners in Finland. One of our past beneficiaries of the toys was an orphanage in Kasane which takes care of over 50 children. This has been a wonderful experience throughout the years. One parent said she has never seen her kids so happy for having received the toys. To our friends in Finland, we say "Thank you so much and having seen the joy that the kids expressed. We say, more and more toys next year and the year after and many other years. Thank you so much from the whole team."

After a long day we had dinner. Tommie took the chance to address the team about the Malaria campaign scheduled for Friday 23rd. He touched on the bed nets and malaria situation in the area.

Attendance at the 2010 Malaria Eradication (main kgotla Parakarungu)
Attendance at the 2010 Malaria Eradication (main kgotla Parakarungu)

Friday 23- as early as 730am the kgotla auditorium was filled to capacity with several overflows outside. Every child, adult, girl, boy could miss the meeting for anything else. Benson Kedumele directed the ceremony. Resego Mkandla swiped the whole kgotla with a spiritual hymn and gave a heartfelt prayer. Then followed by the national anthem of Botswana.

The theme of the campaign was 'nets for all, kill the mosquito'. We donated 500 treated LLN bednets to Ms Victoria O'Connell, regional health officer America emabassy to Botswana. She commended GSS ICT CLUB for their work, noting that it is rare for students to be interested in such fields of community service. Thanking us also was the Legislator of the area, Hon Gibson Mshinwe. Tommie Hamaluba delivered the campaign rationale and also introduced the Burbank team. We then went from house to house teaching and donating the nets to different households. We covered the part of the then left to our colleagues from the council to continue as we had to travel back earlier.

Tommie Hamaluba (club patron)
Benson Kedumele (ex club chairperson)
Doug Grimsahw (teacher)
Dena Zelig (teacher)
Lisa Thande (student)
Resego Moatshe (student)
Resego Mkhandla (student)
Didie D( student)
Eunice M (student)
Onalenna Dikoloti (student)

Page created on 8/1/2014 5:06:30 PM

Last edited 8/1/2014 5:06:30 PM

Related Links

More photos! - Our Facebook photos from this year's End Malaria Campaign and ToyJoy Project 2010
Tommie Hamaluba - working to eradicate malaria
See Tommie's campaigns here:

Author Info

It's been over five years since students from Gaborone Secondary School, under the leadership of their patron Tommie Hamaluba, have embarked on a project to end malaria in Botswana. This year I share with you the success we had on our life-changing mission of malaria eradication. During this year 2010 the patron, ex-student leader Benson Kedumele and representatives from Burbank High in California, Dena Zelig and Doug Grimshaw, travelled for over 1000 km from Gaborone to Parakarungu for this year's campaign.

Please visit our reports from last year:

End Malaria Campaign 2009 and ToyJoy Project