WUSC Volunteer, Haley Toll, an Art Therapist from Ottawa, Canada, helps SSI paint a tuck shop for an income generation project

Former WUSC Volunteer, Haley Toll, an Art Therapist, helps SSI participants paint a tuck shop for an income generation project.

Interested in volunteering at Stepping Stones International(SSI)? Have questions? Need answers? We are not always able to respond promptly to the many emails we receive so we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions that pertain to the volunteer experience at SSI. Read through the list and hopefully it will answer any questions you might have.

If you still have queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Also download our full volunteer manual here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are SSI operating Hours? Is there a 3 hour siesta?

  • 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday
  • Youth activities at the center run from: 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Center Sports Time: Saturdays 9-13:00

Where is the center located and can I get there by tricycle?

  • Boseja North, Mochudi (next to the Roman Catholic Church)
  • Distance of Center from Gaborone: 45 km’s
  • Transportation time from Gaborone: 50 minutes (The buses run every 30 minutes from 6 am until around 8 pm)
  • Mode of transportation: Combi’s (Boseja Route II), Taxi’s (Boseja Route II), Bus (to from Gaborone-Mochudi)
  • Cost of transportation: Combi (P3.00 per way) Taxi (P3.50 per way or a special is P20.00+ per/way), Bus (P10.00 per way)

What is the dress code? Can I wear my bathing suite?

  • Primarily business casual however, official meetings or functions do occasionally require formal attire.

Where can I find accommodation?

  • SSI has no in-house accommodation but we are willing to assist in helping you to find a home stay or identify a space to rent.
  • All home stay families are vetted members of our community and committed to providing volunteers with a safe, and interesting cultural experience.
  • Typically rent/home stay costs are P1000.00 – 1,5000/per month (equivalent to $125.00 USD – $190USD)

What’s the weather like? Can I fry an egg on the pavement?

  • Botswana is primarily hot and dry. The summer months range from September to April and winter months generally range from April to August. In the summer it is very hot and dry with temperatures averaging 30 degrees Celsius.
  • In the winter temperatures can drop as low as 1 or 2 degrees Celsius. Temperature very warm during the day to fairly cold at night. Warm clothing is required.

Who volunteers at SSI?

  • Professionals, students, retired persons, community members, passionate young people.
Amanda, elementary school teacher volunteering from Canada, with SSI youth.

Amanda, elementary school teacher volunteering from Canada, with SSI youth.

Where do volunteers come from?

  • Botswana and beyond, SSI wants to provide an international experience to youth in Mochudi and welcomes volunteers from all corners of the world.

What will I be doing at SSI?

Responsibilities will vary depending on your skills, interests and  our needs.

  • Volunteers primarily assist in our literacy clinic, tutoring, sports, computer skills, drama, life skills activities, programme outreach, income generation projects, logistics, administrative support, or providing technical capacity building.
  • Volunteers are expected to fully engage with SSI participants and staff and sharing an experience.

What about Food?

  • Volunteers spending the day at SSI should preferably pack their own lunch and bring lots of water (it’s hot).
  • Forget your lunch one day? No worries, there are three local grocery stores with in a 20-minute walking distance. There are also local eateries that provide local dishes and cold drinks.

How will I benefit from volunteering at SSI other than a nice tan?

  • A great, diverse experience.
  • Meeting new people.
  • Developing new skills from working with youth and working in development.
  • After completion of a successful volunteer placement at SSI, we would be happy to assist with a reference letter for career advancement.

Want to donate some things.

Your generous support is always welcome. The things we always need lots of include:

  • Pencils and pencil sharpeners,erasers (rubbers), glue sticks, stickers, lined paper, scissors, colored and construction paper, printing paper, arts and crafts supplies, office supplies, notebooks, certificate cards.
  • School bags, black school shoes for youth (12-18 years), belts, underwear, socks, towels, tights/leggings, hats.
  • food(canned, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy).

Better yet  sign up to sponsor a youth HERE!

How do I volunteer?

Email us a copy of your CV and let us know what you are interested in.

What do I need before volunteering?

  • A positive attitude and an open mind.
  • Volunteers coming from abroad need to make sure that you have all of your required up-to-date immunizations, and adequate health insurance that will provide coverage for you while in Botswana.

Currency and Money Matters:

  • Botswana uses the Pula (BWP). Look up the latest exchange rate before you come to familiarize yourself with money matters.
  • There are international and national banks in Botswana.
  • In Mochudi there are three ATMs and Banks (Barclays Bank, FNB, and Standard Chartered). ATMs do have the PLUS/VISA signs and accept most international debit or visa cards.

Since they aren’t roaming the streets, where can I go to see wild animals?

Many of our volunteers wish to experience more of beautiful Botswana. Look up Maun, the Okavango Delta, Kasane, Victoria Falls, Madikwe, Khutse, or the Makgadigadi Pans for potential travel destinations. Botswana is bordered by Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There is a wide variety of things to see and do.

How safe am I??

SSI recommends all volunteers to be street smart and stay safe. While Botswana is generally peaceful, risky behavior may put you in harms way. Do NOT:

  • Walk alone after dark, it is not safe.
  • Leave possessions and valuables unattended or exposed. The best slogan is “out of sight, out of mind.
  • Mochudi does have a local police station, clinics and a hospital.

What about Kodac moments?

SSI has a photo policy in place. Our youth love to smile for the camera and photos are welcomed as long as the policy is adhered to. Careful with your camera or every youth will want to take a turn snapping photos for you.

 

CLICK HERE to download the full SSI Volunteer Manual

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