This year has been a big one for Botswana Sports Volunteers Movement (SVM). From immaculately delivering the 2nd African Youth Games that saw most of the 53 African countries converging in Botswana, there outworked themselves in many other events. Over 2000 volunteers took part in the 2nd Africa Youth Games.
Understandably, SVM this past weekend celebrated their achievements in different places around the country and further buttressed their commitment not only for the local sport but to the communities as well. The volunteers sensitised people about the work that they do, and they did not only celebrate but also engaged in community work. In Lobatse, the volunteers cleaned and painted the house chosen by Lobatse Town Council and had a car wash, with the proceeds given to a struggling family there. In Tsabong, the proceeds from their charitable activities of the day went to a cultural centre in the village. They also had a community day in Serowe.
This year’s theme for volunteers was ‘People’s Participation’, with a tagline ‘Make Change Happen, Volunteer’. SVM Public Relations Officer Thabo Osekeng has expressed excitement at the breakthroughs they have made as local volunteers and their growth in general. He applauded all volunteers for the great work because if it wasn’t for them, then the hosting of both major and minor events will be a hassle to Botswana. He referred to them as the most important key stakeholders because they make the event worthwhile because of their immense assistance.
“I want to thank all the volunteers for the tremendous work this year. We have really grown in leaps and bounds and their contribution to the local sporting events has been very exceptional. We hope to have a better year in 2015,’’ he said.
Osekeng encouraged Batswana to take volunteerism seriously since it is a way of giving back to the community and showing gratitude, because though they may not be tangible rewards, the joy that they bring to the people that they are assisting or to the nation is priceless. He said that it is just amazing how they have been very effective this year.
One of the committed volunteers, Resego Ben, said that she had been involved with volunteerism at a young stage and even when at the University of Botswana, she made sure that she continued with it. She said that if there can be a major event and she is not part of, she really feels very grieved because to her volunteering is all about getting connected with other people, and also a booster to self-confidence. To her, answering a national call for service matters a lot since she is affirm believer that money is not all about everything.
“Volunteerism emboldens the human spirit because to me the selfless act of providing help provides me with a spiritual boost as well. It is an emotionally uplifting experience knowing that you did something good for someone or your country,’’ she said.
She said though it is not a glamorous job, the experiences are always positive, something that can never be bought with any amount of money and can never be matched by fame.