The Botswana Society held its first open house session on Friday 23rd January 2015 with Honorary Secretary, Fred Morton, highlighting the objectives of conducting such open days as to make the public aware of TBS.
TBS promotes cultural heritage, tourism, connects the public and tourists with the cultural side of Botswana and support young entrepreneurs, according to Morton. This was also a chance for TBS to promote their annual publication of the Botswana Notes and Records.
During the open house session TBS organised training by the Botswana Federation for the Disabled (BOFOD) to assist in disseminating information about disability and its implications. Shirley Keoagile and Obopilwe Mosimane from the BOFOD conducted training on the Disability Mainstreaming Programme which is meant to support and address issues of disability in the society.
When deliberating on their presentation Shirley and Mosimane emphasized that problems on disability are within the society and not with the disabled people as many people believe, therefore society need to analyse the problem and come up with solutions.
According to United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability; disability results from the interaction between perceptions with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Society’s actions towards the disabled are influenced by perceptions hence the need for society to change their perceptions on the disabled and consult them in order to get solutions that will best address their problems.
Educational forums like this should be promoted to inform the public and change the environment around us to create a barrier free and inclusive society for all. Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) and TBS have a three-year partnership agreement in support of TBS’ long-standing Cultural Heritage Tourism project. Among other things, the agreement pledges BIC to finance and equip a full-time office employee at TBS and to provide BIC volunteers, for the purposes of expanding TBS’ operations and outreach, enhancing its cultural heritage web site (www.botswanabeckons.com).
This partnership represents BIC’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy of developing long-term partnerships to strengthen NGOs such as TBS while also moving them closer to self-sustainability. BIC is committed to the transformation, reconstruction and development of Botswana in the areas of Education, Health/Welfare, Road Traffic Safety, Crime Prevention, and Conservation & the Environment. The next Open day will be on the 27th of March 2015.