Partner of the Week: StartUp4Kids Foundation

Startup4kids was founded in 2009. Since then, they have expanded their operations to projects in Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and Botswana.  

As an organization, it believes in a world in which all children, youth and women have the opportunity to develop themselves so that they can live an independent life, fostering care within the community and the environment around them. To promote this vision, Startup4kids engages in strengthening mental health through personal
leadership modules, it fights to reduce poverty by incorporating financial and entrepreneurial education and it is actively involved in raising awareness on environmental sustainability and climate action by providing waste management programs, social enterprise knowledge, awareness conferences, school gardens and other educational workshops to nurture social education in marginalized communities.  

Botswana has its own, socio-economic factors that require the contextualization of the organization’s programs to the local context. Until the late 1960s, Botswana was under British rule. In comparison to other decolonialized African countries, Botswana has a stable political regime, but the country still faces poverty driven societal disparities amongst its population. Poverty driven social inequalities range from women earning lower incomes to an educational system that does not focus on training the youth in entrepreneurial skills or in the development of career prospects. This focus is highly important in rural areas, to provide incentives and opportunities to disrupt intergenerational poverty in the region. According to UNICEF, poverty is most common among women and households with a female head. To enable financial independence, our partner StartUp4Kids Foundation collaborates with other local partners like Black Banana Africa and Knyphausen Foundation and other local schools in Ngamiland to reduce poverty among children, youth and their mothers in Maun and the surrounding area.  

Our partnership: 

Alongside the support from local NGOs, StartUp4Kids strives to reduce poverty by providing empowerment platforms to increase psychological, social, and economic capital of students, mothers and other members of the community. These activities aim to settle mothers and the youth into suitable jobs to eventually break from the embedded poverty cycle so that a sustainable result is achieved. Similarly, the children and their mothers will receive likeminded empowerment training and additional workshops based on the Aflatoun curriculum in schools in Maun and in projects spearheaded by local NGOs. As a common theme, these programs will also nurture environmental awareness with material and content revolving around waste management or ongoing workshops that consciously deal with nature like maintaining vegetable gardens. To be able to expand the social impact of the Aflatoun empowerment programs, StartUp4Kids will actively continue to provide social and financial education in the most sustainable way possible.

Since 2010, our partnership has been flourishing because of our in-tune ideals embedded in the functioning and values of both our organizations. We both share Learning by Doing attitudes and as child centered organizations, the broad combination of social, financial and entrepreneurial education has proven to be the key for shaping the independent future of many children and women.  

Developing Skills, Talents & Discussing Rights and ResponsibilitiesA success story  

The past year, the Aflatoun curriculum has motivated learning and growth amongst the Bana Ba Letsatsi club members, in Botswana. The year began with forming clubs on skills, talents and discussing rights and responsibilities. During the year, this program continued to reach young boys and girls.  

As a result, a group of young boys decided to start their own social enterprise where they would use waste materials like wire and cans to make cars that would then sell on market day. All the planning of these empowerment workshops was organized by the local club members. The youth participated in shopping around for quotations for the materials they’d need to make crafts from waste and designed posters to advertise their crafts so the community would know about their presence at the market.

From this initiative, the young boys sold P1310.00 worth of recycled cars made from wire and fizzy drink cans to locals, local organizations and tourists. The presence of these entrepreneurial skills trainings and empowerment workshops continue to make an impact with the support of StartUp4Kids, local facilitators, schools and other local organizations.