Sexaxa is a very small and remote rural village, situated 19 km (12mi) north-east of Maun Airport, in Botswana. Located close to the Thamalakane River, Sexaxa has an estimated population of 900 people, and no real infrastructure. Approximately five km away, Matlapana is the nearest larger village, and children living in Sexaxa attend school here.
The renowned Okavango Delta, which is home to four &Beyond lodges, more or less borders the town of Maun in Botswana. &Beyond‘s regional base is in Maun and many of our staff that work at the lodges are from this area. Sexaxa, has become a community which &Beyond has worked closely with for many years in various capacities. In 2012 an analysis was done through consultation with the communities to get an understanding of what the needs were in these remote rural areas. At that stage the nearest school in Matlapana was 5km away (10km of walking per day).
School in the Matlapana community starts at 07h30; and the children from the Sexaxa community, as young as six years of age, rise around 04h00am and set off on a long walk to school. Taking them through bushy terrain, the last km is along a dangerously busy tarred road. Often leaving home on empty stomachs, it is common for the Sexaxa children to arrive at class late, hungry and tired.
The children are further disadvantaged by being unable to attend after-school activities, such as extra revision sessions and sports, which would see them walking home after dark. Accident and injury enroute is also a real concern for the parents of these children. The overall impact has been below average performance, inconsistent attendance and ultimately increased dropout rates. The community was seeking support to raise funds for the construction of a school within Sexaxa village. Brought to the attention of Africa Foundation, through the generosity of donors, and working in partnership with the community, government and district council, they were able to fulfil this request.
To date, two classrooms, a kitchen and ablutions have been constructed and funds are being raised for a further two classrooms. The school will officially open in January 2019.
To help make a difference to the children of Sexaxa, click here.