Samochima Pre-School in 2006...


  ...and how it looked in 2011...


Huge thanks to the late (and greatly missed) Keith Keogh for planting the fast growing trees which give much needed shade.



Samochima Pre-School toilets

which were built when I was in

Botswana in March 2011, using

funds raised the year before.



PhredPhoto 2011

The football team digging the

deep pit for the toilet block

which is pictured above.


PhredPhoto 2010

I took this photograph of the 

children and teachers in 2010

when the school's interior walls

had just been re-painted.  The

colourful posters were replaced

later.  The two new big round tables give much more space for lessons and games than smaller individual tables or desks which would take up far too much room in the classroom.  



The last photo has been copied from

my website and used on another without

my prior knowledge or permission.

Samochima Pre-School 


All contributions and donations made at my OKAVANGO ODYSSEY presentation were used to fund improvements at a pre-school and other community projects in Samochima - a village in a remote rural area of North-West Botswana.


Work was carried out by local people and I bought the materials from nearby hardware stores, etc., thus putting money into the local economy.  I know there are schemes whereby people from Europe or the U.S.A. etc. go out to Africa to build schools and clinics, but I preferred to supply the funding which enabled local people to do the work themselves - in the way they want it done. 


A full list of contributors (including Friendship, Probus and Rotary Clubs, Women's Institutes, etc.) can be supplied on request, but special thanks go to members of Pershore Rotary Club for their extremely generous support in funding the replacement of the school's roof.  Warwick Rotary Club and Wrington Vale Rotary Club have also made major contributions, so huge thanks to them too.


Money raised at my talks since 2006 paid for the school's roof to be replaced, a verandah added to the front of the school, a water pipe installed ready for later connection, a store-room added to the rear of the school, broken doors and windows repaired or replaced, two new big round tables and additional chairs provided, the whole building re-painted with pictures of animals added on the front walls (helping to develop a respect for the country's wildlife) and a new decent 'long-drop' toilet block constructed to the side of the school.  Many toys and educational resources have been donated by my friends, work colleagues and schools near to where I live in the U.K.


The village football team helped with digging a very deep pit for the children's toilets.  This new toilet block, which includes separate toilets for girls and boys, replaced an old single toilet which was never really suitable because the pit had not been dug deeply enough.  To say thank you to the guys for all their hard work, I organised some Aston Villa football kit for them.  See the Samochima United Football Club page on this web-site for photographs of the team wearing their new kit.


My thanks also go to Lloyd Wilmot and the whole Wilmot family for their incredible generosity in giving me accommodation and a four-wheel drive vehicle which allowed me to be independent whilst I was working in the village, but most of all I would like to thank them for their love and support.  Lloyd has also given much of his and his staff's time to these projects, plus a lot of his own building materials.


In 2014, I produced a photo-book of my involvement with Samochima Pre-School showing the projects detailed above.  With the permission of Chief Koloi, I also produced a much larger photo-book as a photographic record of life in the village in the early 21st. Century.


Several copies of both books have been presented to the village.  I am immensely pleased with how they have turned out and understand that they have been much enjoyed by everyone at Samochima. I'm sure in future years, villagers, especially the children, will enjoy looking back at how things were in the early part of the 21st Century.  Sadly, I can no longer visit, but I would love to see what those children I met and taught from 2006 - 2011 have grown up like.




There is an NGO in nearby Shakawe which helps the local Bushman population, but they also help other small communities if requested to and if at all possible. They received some funding from donors who specifically asked for it to be used at Samochima. Some was from a group of employees at an organisation in the North of England (one of their number has links with the NGO) and some from a group of people who live in Gabarone (the capital of Botswana).


A conservation group called SAVE kindly took on the task of funding further projects at Samochima Pre-School.  This was timely since I am no longer able to raise further funds for the continuing maitenance of the pre-school building.


There is also a cultural link between the new Primary School (not the Pre-School) and a group of children in North America. 



These links and fundraising are separate from mine and have not been used for any of the projects listed above.