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, would rise around 04h00am and set off on a long walk to school. Taking them through bushy terrain, the last section is along a dangerously busy tarred road. Accident and injury enroute was a real concern for the parents of these children.
Often leaving home on empty stomachs, it was also common for the Sexaxa children to arrive at class late, hungry and tired. The children were 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. The overall impact was below average performance, inconsistent attendance and ultimately increased dropout rates.
This community need was brought to the attention of Africa Foundation in 2012. Following collaborative agreements and support from government and district council, and the generosity of donors, the ground-breaking ceremony took place 21 October 2013.
The first phase of this project was completed on 20 January 2020 when the school opened its doors to the first classes of young learners.
If you’d like to make a difference to the children of Sexaxa Primary School, click here.
Francis King from &Beyond ran the London Marathon and raised over USD 10 000 for this project.