S E R V A S   B O T S W A N A

It was in 1995 when I first heard about Servas in my own house when I was holding a housewarming party. I had invited Professor Sheldon Weeks and his wife. Professor Weeks was the Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Botswana where I was a part time graduate student. Professor sold the idea of me taking over from him as the main contact person but frankly speaking I did not buy the idea because I was busy throughout as a full-time worker and a part-time student.

In 1996, he revisited the topic of Servas stating that the Secretary General of Servas International was going to visit Botswana and wondered if I could offer accommodation. I did, and stayed with Vibeke Matorp for 2 weeks. In May 1997 I was invited to the African Regional Conference in Livingstone. I must admit that the meeting made a difference in my life as a person and as also as a National Secretary to be.

What really made the difference were the reports presented by representatives from various countries about the Servas activities in their respective countries. Even though the Secretary General of Servas International had visited Botswana earlier and we had met with the secretariat of Servas Zambia in Botswana and learnt from them, the impact was not as much as that from Livingstone. On coming back, the immediate activity I got involved into was in recruiting host families so that we could be recognised as a registered branch.

Recruiting the host families was not much of a challenge because the groundwork had been done by Mrs Vibeke Matorp during her recent visit in Botswana. She contributed a great deal towards the development of Servas Botswana. Now, I am proud to announce that we have 14 hosts on the Host List. The biggest challenge facing me is to be able to bring all the hosts together to a meeting. But as all of them do not stay in the same city there are some families who have to pay for their fares, food, etc...

Thus, we have come with an idea which we hope to implement very soon, that is in calling the members here in the city to my house and have a pot-luck where every host brings small food and the host will provide with cold drinks, etc... I shall be able to devote more time to Servas activities after the 1st of November 1997 once my graduation is over.

Regina Dambe