The initiative, held in partnership with Air Botswana, saw 70 lucky students take to the overcast skies for a short scenic flight over the second city.
After the high of their trip into the clouds, the school kids, aged between eight and 18, were divided into two groups. They then took part in workshops on Business Leadership, run by Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), and Robotics and Programming conducted by Francistown College of Programming.
STEAME – Fly for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Entrepreneurship Southern Africa – is a scheme set up by Captain, Kgomotso Phatsima.
The celebrated pilot started the initiative as part of her Dare to Dream programme, which is dedicated to the advancement of youth, women, and girls in STEAME as well as Aviation and Aerospace.
“It gives children, more especially girls, the opportunity to consider careers and business opportunities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Entrepreneurship. It also exposes them to science, innovation, engineering, and Aeroscope technology,” explained Captain Phatsima, adding FLY for STEAME has impacted close to 210 students in Gaborone and Francistown since its 1 November launch at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
“Our target is to impact 70 more in Francistown and surrounding areas and then move to Kasane, Maun, Orapa, and Jwaneng. Overall in Botswana alone, we are targeting 1, 000 boys and girls,” she revealed.
“We will then acquire an aircraft and FLY in five Southern African countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe Zambia, and Angola and impact 10, 000 students.
“We seek support from different stakeholders and organisations to assist us to sponsor more students especially from underprivileged backgrounds and disadvantaged communities to be part of this unique inspirational, impactful, innovative initiative,” she continued, adding the cost is P600 per child.
The Ghetto edition saw children from Francistown’s Kgaphamadi location, as well as Jwaneng, Goshwe, and Mathangwane sponsored to take part.
Some of the partners on the day included: Civil Aviation of Botswana, Coca Cola, Mascom, Botswana Accountancy College, The Grand Palm, Peermont Hotel, O3 Beverages; Francistown College of Programming.