Name: Kagiso Madibana
Business: Nayang Association
Location: Gaborone, Botswana
Industry: Social Enterprise
Reason for starting? Although Botswana is classified as a middle income economy, we still have under-privileged children in disadvantaged communities who travel to school without school shoes because their parents cannot afford to purchase them. We still have girls who miss up to 50 days of school a year because their parents/guardians cannot afford to purchase sanitary pads. I believe that we cannot sit and wait for the government to address all the problems we have in the community because we could wait forever. We are the change we have been waiting for. I felt that I had the skills and platforms to bring together young people who were eager to make a positive contribution to the community. I also felt that starting a project like this with zero budget will inspire young people to believe that anyone of us, no matter our background, can make a difference in their communities.
How do you define success? Success for me is when I lead the organization to become a sustainable entity. It’s also when I am confident enough to let go of my leadership position and let someone else take over. Success for me is when my projects inspires other young people to start their own projects that are beneficial to the community.
Biggest success: Due to our fundraising efforts and awareness campaigns, we have been able to donate school shoes and sanitary pads to different schools almost every month. When we started out we were using our personal finances and asking our friends and family for donations. We have had big organizations in our country calling to partner with us. Our biggest has been the projects we worked on with the South African High Commission in Botswana, where we donated school shoes, 6 months worth of food, sanitary pads, and photocopy machines to three different villages in honour of Mandela Day.
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What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our biggest challenge had always been finances and logistical issues. We used to accept donations in the form of school shoes and sanitary pads but we would struggle with finding cheap ways to transport the donations to the remote areas. Ever since we started our fund-raising initiatives, in the form of hiking activities and yoga sessions, we have ensured we have enough money for logistics.
Who is your most important role model? My role model is Dr A.K Pillai founder of the Indian Development Foundation (IDF) an organisation that has over a 120 projects across India. These projects range from hospitals to schools. In 2009, I went to Chennai for a social responsibility internship under his lead. I learned everything I know about running an NGO from him. He taught me the art of patience and perseverance.
Edited by The Story Exchange