The Play Groups projects have been one of our earliest commitments since the inception of Feline Fields. We have been developing it since the Lodge was founded. These projects were born out of the lack of early childhood care facilities in remote areas of Botswana. Indeed, we know that quality early development is essential to laying the foundation for success in later life.
We started by creating two Play Groups, one in Tsao and one in Nokaneng, so that the youngest children in the region, aged between three and five, have access to a pre- school structure that allows them to develop and socialize during the day.
To accomplish this, we have completely renovated buildings into classrooms and playrooms through donations from the Feline Fields Trust and the dedicated work of volunteers. We outfitted playgroups with indoor and outdoor equipment, built playgrounds with swings, provided school furniture, educational toys, creative arts and fantasy kits to make each Play Group a place where children make great strides to reach their full potential.
Each Play Group welcomes about 50 children per day, under the supervision of three teachers we recruited and trained, representing each of the tribes in the surrounding villages. The women received teacher training in Ghanzi, funded by the generosity of our donors and the involvement of the Botswana government in the project. With the guidance of the teachers, the children are helped to develop fully in the physical, cognitive, psychological and social areas. Today, we continue to fund and maintain the playgroups with the help of our Trust Coordinator, but always including the Village Development Committee, to raise awareness in the villages about the importance of the playgroups for the children and the community.