The African Women Leadership Academy (TAWLA) held a graduation ceremony for 27 girls in Gaborone last week.
The girls, who for the past 11 months underwent training, leadership empowerment and life skills, were awarded certificates during a glamorous evening ceremony at Cresta Lodge.
The 2018 graduates included students from Gaborone senior secondary schools, both public and private, who exhibit leadership skills.
They were selected from Naledi, Gaborone, Ledumang, Mogoditshane Secondary Schools, as well as Legae Academy and Livingstone Kolobeng College Private Secondary Schools.
Giving an outline on how pupils are chosen the programme, TAWLA Coordinator, Boitumelo Maswabi, explained, “We work closely with Guidance and Counselling teachers because they help select students who exhibit leadership qualities. We do not necessarily sideline those who are lagging behind in academics because they may still possess the leadership skills.”
Maswabi, who was quick to thank Stanbic Bank for their continued support, went on to say, “However, students who exhibit leadership skills are often among the best in academics. Moreover, recently, we have had parents who, through articles they’ve seen in print media, or heard of TAWLA on radio/tv or by word of mouth, have approached requesting that we enroll their children.”
TAWLA modules start in February every year, with the class of 2019 set to be the academy’s ninth.
Briefly highlighting the impact the organisation has had, TAWLA Founding Director, Mpho Gilika said, “Through our mentorship programmes, TAWLA has trained many people. For the last eight years, we have worked with different government ministries on social issues. We’ve had parenting seminars. We have reached many rural areas of Botswana where students were having problems with parents and teachers.”
The girls are trained on issues of politics, self esteem, etiquette, good behaviour, public speaking, financial discipline, alcohol and drug abuse, human trafficking and gender based violence among other topics.
“It is our role to ensure that our children live the life they ought to live,” stressed Gilika.
A Guidance and Councselling teacher from one of the represented school, Boikhutso Majang of Naledi Senior Secondary School (GSS) expressed gratitude to TAWLA, which she said is doing a great job in keeping the girls in check.
“TAWLA makes it easier for us teachers as well. The trainees often go back to their schools and share their experiences and lessons with other children. They have become their role models and are mentoring others,” noted Majang.