Underone Botswana Sky

Chobe Fish Eagle wins award

Chobe Fish Eagle wins 2013 SADC Gender Protocol Summit Award in the Education and Economic Development Category and will now represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Protocol Work Summit in RSA.

Chobe Fish Eagle a Botswana owned company comprising of 5 Camps and Lodges namely (Chobe Safari Lodge, Nata Lodge, Pom Pom Camp, Gunn’s Camp and Moremi Crossing) represented by Leanne Britton the company’s “Group Training and Development Manager” started being involved with the Chobe District Youth Council’s out of school youth Industrial Attachment Programme in June 2006.

Leanne says that it has been her privilege to be involved in facilitating the 3 month Industrial Attachment programme. Her motivation has been that as a youngster her parents did not have the ability to send her to study further after she had completed her schooling. She said that she had, had to rely on character references that were written by her neighbor and hairdresser in order to apply for her first job. Her driving factor for being involved in such a project was not only that the youth would get experience in the Hospitality Industry but that they would obtain a reference letter and certificate of service, thereby allowing them to have a better chance of securing full time employment.

During the 6 year period their have been a total of 132 Chobe District Youth Council Trainees that have been through the 3 month Industrial Attachment Programme. To date 49 or 39.5% of those trainees have been employed within the Chobe Fish Eagle’s, 5 Camps and Lodges.

The 3 month programme allows the trainees to be allocated to all departments of the lodge for a period of between 1 and 3 weeks. During this time the trainees are attached to full time employees and work side by side in a “on the job – practical” manner. This allows the trainees time to not only experience the work at hand but also the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the guests. This experience ultimately gives them a good overview of the Lodge and its operations but it also gives our Managers and Heads of Department an opportunity to get to know the trainees, thereby providing the company with potential employees to fill vacant positions.

The youngsters also form part of the Mongoose Research Team an initiative by the Chobe Biodiversity Center (Caracal) and Chobe Safari Lodge in which the youth observe and capture data on the movements of the mongoose and other wildlife on the Chobe Safari Lodge grounds adjacent to the Chobe National Park. The trainees also receive a certificate form Caracal for being a Research Assistant for the 3 month period.

This programme forms part of the Chobe Fish Eagles community development goals. Leanne says “It displays our company’s commitment towards developing and improving the lives of both youngsters and women from within our community”. In essence this programme assist in alleviating poverty, the reduction of a high unemployment rate, assists in keeping the youth away from immoral practices such as crime and sex work, as well as helping to motivate in the fight against HIV and Aids. Having basic skills attained on the 3 month attachment programme enables many of the young men and women to secure full time employment and in so doing allows them to financially and emotionally assist their families.

Chobe Fish Eagle not only provides Hospitality Industrial Attachment opportunities for BNYC youth but also that of students from various BOTA registered Technical Colleges and Institutions from within Botswana and has assisted with a total of 282 trainees since 2006.

Leanne says that it makes her proud and her heart very happy when she comes across some of her previous Youth Council Trainees doing well in various establishments such as Air Botswana, Botswana Police, Chobe District Council and variouse other company’s. Leanne believes that if Chobe Fish Eagle can be involved in such a successful initiative then she would like to encourage other companies within Botswana to also facilitate such a programme, then we are certain to continually improve the livelihood of all. In essence such an initiative works hand in hand with the 7 pillars of the Nations vision 2016 of improving the people of this county’s future in every way possible.

As a result of winning the SADC Gender Protocol – Education and Economic Development category spear headed by Gender Links, bala, Women Affairs Department and the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Leanne will now be going to represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Gender Protocol Summit in South Africa from the 22nd till the 25th of April 2013. Should Leanne win her category in the Education and Economic Development section then this valuable initiative would be adopted by the other SADC counties to be implement in their districts in order to fight Gender Based Violence and promote the Empowerment of women.