Friends of the Museum Society (FOMS) – a voluntary, non-political and non-profit making society formed to assist the Department of National Museum and Monuments in the discharge of its public mandate – met last week to announce the heritage marathon sponsorship campaign. FOMS Vice Chairperson Sabo Colledge said as FOMS they want to enliven Botswana’s yesterday, today and tomorrow with the objectives of helping promote the museum through various education programmes, to assist and run special programmes for schools and other special programmes. “We want to create and provide a pool of expertise in museum operations and services through voluntary assistance and to fundraise and make available grants for research, public education programmes and general development of the museum,” she said. Dr Gaositwe Chiepe – a member of FOMS – said with approximately 60 individual members and four institutions FOMS is a vibrant society with strong partnership with the Department of National Museum and Monuments. She said they are committed to preserving and conserving natural heritage and over the years they have built permanent collections of artworks, historical and ethnographic and biological artefacts.
She said it has also supported annual school art exhibitions and education tours of heritage sites. “FOMS built the museum galleries, the little theatre, and the museum reference library and has also hosted lectures, seminars and workshops just among the things that they have done,” she said. She said despite this there are still challenges that hindered progress in some of their projects which are to create a three part television series on heritage of Botswana, develop disability friendly facilities at some of the monuments and writing some of the heritage educational materials in braille. They are planning a day tour of heritage sites in and around Gaborone for SOS children in Tlokweng, a heritage dinner which is a fundraising event and a heritage marathon at Tswapong Hills. “All these activities need funds and that is why FOMS cannot walk this journey alone and I therefore call for your support either in kind or financially to ensure that we realise our dream of preserving our natural and cultural heritage,” she said. Deputy Director (National Museum and Monuments) Stephen Mogotsi encouraged people to become part of FOMS in order to share in their incredible skills and also enjoy the benefits of being a member. Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is FOMS patron.