Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gaborone, Botswana: plan for an employment workshop

Today I asked some of the students what they will be doing after graduation and several of them had no plans for employment. It gave me an idea that part of what I came here to do was marketing and publicity. I had visions of the website which is still on track but before we could really talk about marketing, the students who will be graduating tomorrow need to be prepared for the world of work. With that in mind, I talked to Mitho and offered to do a series of workshops on employment preparation. She thought it was an excellent idea and will make the initial offering to the graduating catering students as well as the students who have already graduated but have not found employment.
I spent some time working on an outline for the workshop. It will likely be one hour a day for 4 or 5 days depending on how much we get covered. The teachers will be invited to attend the workshop as well so that after I leave, they can offer it to their students. I came up with what I think is a workable format. It comes in handy to have some teaching experience. I asked one of the students if they had to pick three employers they would want to work for and they could only name one – the Gaborone Sun. There are lots of other hotels and restaurants in the area but because they did their first three months at Gaborone Sun, they all want to go and work there. Not realistic. They’ll have to do some homework for this workshop but hopefully at the end of the series, they will have at least three employers in mind that they will go to look for a job, they’ll plan and prepare a CV, and they will attend a mock interview. Mitho thinks this will be good for the teachers as well.
I’m planning the workshop content in such a way that if the teachers attend the first series, they can then do the workshops on their own – a teach the teacher format. The idea is that for the centre to be sustainable, the staff have to either be prepared to do some of the skill development so that they can prepare their students or they should be able to find the necessary resources to assist the students.
I did some more work on the website content. Its coming along nicely but I am getting the feeling of running out of time. Priya doesn’t have that much time left till she leaves so I am suddenly feeling the time crunch.
I came home about 5:15pm and the house is again like a pigsty. The kitchen looks like a mud hut floor but I’m sure a mud hut floor would be cleaner than this. Hygiene is not a strong suit for any of these people. I ate a couple of slices of left over pizza that I ordered at lunch and stayed in my room for the rest of the night. I spent some time reading the travel guides for Botswana. I’ll call the travel agent that one of the other students told me about. She is supposed to have some good prices for Chobe, Victoria Falls and the Okavanga Delta. Maybe this weekend we’ll be able to do something with Kathy or I can call Catherine to see if I can go up to Palape to visit since she did invite me. Kathy is going to Ghanzi so I’ll try to hitch a ride with her.

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