My name is Calvin Kwarara. I am a former Leadership participant at Stepping Stones International in Botswana. I really believe that this organisation has really helped youth in Botswana to be successful in their goals and most especially to be a productive member of the society and i believe that this will actually bring better change to this generation of youth. I am grateful for the journey
As a researcher in the GBV space, I was very encouraged by the timely response and continued active participation of not only the Director, Mma Jamu, but also of their team. SSI is indeed commited to the upliftment of their community and do so with limited funds, which for me is both remarkable and very inspirational. Keep up the good work and may God bless you.
I was volunteering for 6 months as a part of the Psychosocial Support department at SSI. I am a German student in the field of "International Social Work". Working at SSI was a great opportunity to gain practical experience within my field as well as learning about Botswanas culture. SSI offers a range of different tasks for its volunteers including being involved in the planning of various events and assisting in implementing sessions with the youth. Especially, spending time with the participants was a wonderful experience for me. SSI's employees were always willing to advise me whenever I was in need of it, what created a comfortable working atmosphere.
I would highly recommend volunteering at SSI!
SSI provides hope for the children and youth in Botswana. Lives are transformed through the organisation. If only it can grow and reach more children. In these times when the country is facing pandemic levels of GBV, the family structure needs more than ever to be supported. SSI's programming has deliberate focus on family enrichment.
Stepping Stones International is by far one of the most inspiring and impactful organizations that I've had the privilege to connect to. The leadership and staff team are committed to the work, deeply care about the children, youth and families they serve and will stop at nothing to ensure their needs are met. They are driven to innovate and evolve to ensure their program participants have the best opportunities to reach their potential and thrive well into the future. It's rare to come across an organization that creates such thoughtful programming at just about every intervention level, and as a result their work results in cross-cutting impact not just for the direct program recipients but also for the community at large. SSI gets it done!
I'm consistently impressed by the work that Stepping Stones does for teens in our local community. These girls are often under so much strain at home - unhealthy family relationships, poverty, lack of respect and education - but SSI shows them that they are still worthy of a good life. Last month SSI reached out on behalf of a young girl who was passionate about running. I was able to connect her with one of the nation's top long distance runners and this lady has agreed to coach and mentor the teen. I've never seen so much change and inspiration over one coffee.
Stepping Stones International is a treasure I wish to share with anyone that cares to listen. The experiences and knowledge I have gained as a Leadership participant far exceed the expectations I had prior to starting the program. Our facilitators are motivating and encouraging. It makes me wish the public and private school systems in Botswana would adopt this passion and style of educating as I always leave sessions inspired and learning important life skills and acquiring knowledge that I never learned in school or anywhere else for that matter.
My hopes for the future would be that Stepping Stones International would get more recognition so that it can reach out to more people in need. It really does make a difference to our lives and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to have benefited from such an organisation.
Stepping Stones is not just a organisation that helps orphaned and vulnerable children,it also helps out of school youth and I benefited from it as a leadership participant.Through the programme I acquired different skills like work skills,money skills,people skills and entrepreneurial skills
As a youth organization in the United States, we recently had the pleasure of partnering with Stepping Stone International (SSI) with our launch of our These Teens Mean Busines$ Global Excursion Program. Armed with an amazing staff and true dedication to their youth, SSI proved to be the perfect global partner. We look forward to working with them again in the future!
Roxie Hentz, Founding Executive Director
CEOs of Tomorrow
Stepping Stones International is not just an NGO dealing with orphans and vulnerable youth, it is someway somehow my entire world. It built me and even created the dignity I have. It gave me a family of awesome age mates and even gave me parental figures. For me to know corners of my nation, meet royal people like Earl Miller and even know about the US, it was Stepping Stones in charge. SSI is just like a godmother for it broke into the dark to give me light, courage, passion, ambitions and even taught me something that I use as my motor to succeed; If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else. SSI taught me that to change my world, I have to change my thought and make my mindset positive. A lot count on me as a leader and as an agent of social change and that’s because of the support I got from SSI. All could come out of my mouth but due to uncontrolled fate, I will just mention that SSI did it all for both me, my family, my community and also for my nation. It’s one NGO that one could never survive without. It’s my big world in this small state and it’s a perennial river where I catch big dreams I have right now.
Stepping Stones International might be an NGO, but to me it feels more like my first family and my second home. To me it didn’t just unlock my potential but also introduced me to confidence that I never had in my life. Stepping Stones serves us as participants healthy food, provides us with life skills and also free transport from school to home. The activities that we do as the participants helps in Oil Dinh our creativity. Ever since I joined Stepping Stones, no task ever seems to be a mammoth for me. I tackle every situation that I encounter with the knowledge that I gathered at PSS. We are not only taken care of but we are also taught to be accountable for our actions. When I first joined Stepping Stones I didn’t know there was such a thing called a cinema but then again because of Stepping Stones I got to know what a cinema is. Then there is this program ‘CEOs of Tomorrow’, I had this giant within me, the giant that was unveiled by this program. Ever since I learnt to talk, I have always wanted to see myself in a front seat, especially when it comes to business. And Stepping Stones gave me the opportunity and chance to shine like a star that I am.
The beautiful combination of programs at Stepping Stones International (SSI) enables our youth to realise their potential as they progress into their brighter futures. I have been working here as a Social Worker in the Psychosocial Support Department since 2018 and it has been tremendously satisfying to notice the impact that SSI has on our young people’s wellbeing. What motivates me to keep doing my job is the enthusiasm that the youth portray towards changing their lives for the best and it is always thrilling to celebrate every little achievement with them from time to time.
I loved volunteering at SSI. I can’t stress this enough but the staff are incredibly caring towards the participants and I too felt completely welcome and at home. The programs run at SSI are brilliant and I personally feel that overall the participants benefit from this amazing organisation. I hope to be back soon.
I started at Stepping Stones International as a volunteer tutor in 2017, working at the organisation has been a fulfilling challenge. A fulfilling challenge in the sense that the work is to do with orphaned and vulnerable youth so it requires such diligence and sensitivity. Seeing the participants blossom and realise their potential leaves such an indelible mark of unparalleled success, achievement and fulfilment. I'm currently hired at the organisation as an Education Program Assistant since April 2019, the journey impacting budding lives with purpose and meaning continues. Tsotlhe Kgope
I volunteered with Stepping Stones International for a time and their model of youth empowerment is truly unique and incredible. They have so many programs available for people to gain skills, increase their ability for employment, and they are also willing to support people at an individual level. This is a powerful organization equipping the future of Botwana!
Stepping Stones International is a good NGO which really unlocks the potential of the youth. Sometimes I think they schould cut down the program to keep up with the things which are already there. The program is very packed and sometimes too much.
Enjoy working at SSI. It is an NGO serving orphans and vulnerable youth. I worked in the Leadership Department as an intern. Participants would develop their career skills here and I witness what they have achieved in the six month program and how the program/SSI changes people’s lives.
Staffs are very nice in SSI and we have interns from all over the world, which is very diverse. The experience of working in SSI encourages me to think more about my identity, my culture, my understanding of social services and the development of social work in global south.
It would be a nice place for you to experience African life and learn more about social services in Botswana.
SSI is still developing and we need to keep improving its services. Look forward to passionate people joining us and giving us some good suggestions.
The Stepping Stones staff displays a level of passion and professionalism rarely seen in non-governmental organizations. They are fiercely dedicated to protecting vulnerable children, and their efforts at the national and international level are unparalleled in Botswana. They are at the cutting edge on many levels, and their commitment to evidence-based programs and results documentation should assure all donors that their support is well-used.
Though I've only volunteered with Stepping Stones International for a month, I've learned enough to be highly impressed with this organization. Their accomplishments would be admirable in the US, where I worked with NGOs for more than 25 years, but when you add in the challenges that NGOs face in Botswana (lack of access to communication, transportation, sometimes electricity/water to name a few), SSI deserves your attention as a highly-motivated and effective NGO with a dedicated staff. SSI is committed to efficiency, professionalism, and results in its mission to unlock the potential of Botswana's most vulnerable youth.
Stepping Stones International really is a unique organisation in its field. At the heart of the organisation are the children and youth of Botswana and everything they do revolves around them. Whether it means engaging their caregivers, educating the community and advocating at a National level; the child is ALWAYS at the center.
As an Advisor who works along side the Stepping Stones International team, I can say that the quality of their programming is constantly being reviewed to ensure real, sustainable impact is achieved and emphasis on making evidence based decisions is high on their priority list.
I feel really honored to be working for Stepping Stones International. For more than five years I have been assisting in unlocking potential of youth in Botswana. Seeing a positive difference in one person is AWESOME but seeing difference in more than 7000+ youth and their caregivers is AMAZING! I find its not really work its a lifestyle and cannot believe that I am living my dream job, nay, dream lifestyle.
Please continue supporting us prospective donors and volunteers as you are part of this AMAZING team that unlocks potential. With your resource(s) you have made over 7000+ youth (and their caregivers) have a brighter future with change of mindset and lifestyle. For me its not a job and it is made possible by YOU.
Stepping Stones International, changing lives for the better.
Stepping Stones International is an NGO which enable children right to education it helps children to ask what they don't understand at school e.g providing with tutors.It helps children to know about their present future ,e.g role models dreams , what they want to be when they grow up. And help in the support of emotional pain .It then helps in relationship problems e. g breaking down of family trough different matters ( psych social support) after these all session the participation then eat and go home by transported to there different homes . At the holiday the participants are taken to different places e. g Mokolodi nature reserve and have different activities.
on top of my life i so love stepping stones international is very important to help child to
teach.Is to improved lifes of child or to teach about a lifeskill and to help us & model moves.
Is to help child to touter & to respect others & love each other, stepping stones is to make a sports ,tarlendshow & makes a art masters. stepping stones is to have a free transport & have a food & garden is too nurse in stepping stones is social weirs to help you when you have a problem good ssi.
In stepping stone they help me with many things like toiletry,hire tutors and provide me with life skills. further more I like ssi because they provide me with food and they take me from school and they return me to my home.Again they can make me happy when I am sad at pss.On holidays they can date me like going out to watch movie at cinema.
Stepping Stones International is an NGO that works and give care to the youth and orphans and provide with skills and knowledge that they have to know.
I am a stepping stones leadership participant and this organisation taught me a lot. i learnt entrepreneurial skill, people skill, career skill, and leadership skill.Being with stepping stones is a great opportunity because i have met with different board members of different civil society organisations with stepping stones.stepping stones gives us great opportunities and i hope many people will have the opportunity to be with them.
As a current participant in the Leadership program by Stepping Stones International I have developed entrepreneur skills,interview skills, work ethic and personal skills. i believe the entrepreneurs skills offered in the program are vital for the nowadays world since we live in a competitive word for scarce employment opportunities .
Also, the the interview skills and work ethic which are not taught at school , its an added advantage that we are taught such through the Leadership Program.
My name is Obakeng Mantswe and i had volunteered as a participant in the "Find The Leader Within" an initiation for empowering Botswana's Youth . My experience in Stepping Stones has been great and fantastic, it has enabled me to be engaged in many levels of skills like emotional intelligent, how to make an initial contact and some entrepreneurial aspects just to list a few. With all the knowledge and skills i have will encourage standing out from everybody and be somebody
My name is Tumelo Molokwe, i came to Stepping Stones International, Mochudi in Botswana without knowing anything about leadership programme, and right now i learned so many things which i didn't know for example leadership programme, leadership programme taught me to think of many ideas like to start my own business and to look foward for the future.
Great place that actually does service within the community. If you want to do something that will get results SSI is the way to go.
This is their 10th year in operation in Botswana. Nothing really speaks to how effective an organization as such wonderful longevity.
Cheers to hopefully 10 more years!
What a great organization that helps youth feel empowered about their future! Their informal education approach has help so many youth learn in a different way and enables them to move forward with confidence.
Stepping stones has a unique mandate, meet unmet needs and does not discriminate. Although it's focus is on teenagers, they also work with teenagers who are LGBTI. Great media work, great partner. Big up!
Ssi is a fun and educational place which incites creativity, spirit of togetherness and leadership.
Its an amazing organization that helps vulnerable youth in a fun and exciting why.. truly amazing to be jumping and dancing all in the name of enhancing a skill and empowering yourself
Heard about Stepping Stones International when they initiated a research on the preparedness of government of Botswana in responding to sexual abuse of children. As a children's rights activist, that was an area that was found lacking, we all knew there was a problem but there was not yet any documentation. Subsequent to this research, we as the #IshallNotForget Movement engaged Stepping Stones International in some of our awareness activities. They were receptive, guiding, cooperative and never too busy to lend a hand.
Its through cooperation, partnerships and capacity building that civil society organisations and NGOs can grow and support each other. we have experienced this with Stepping Stones and we look forward to continue working with them.
In addition we have referred cases of abuse to them to provide either psycho-social support or process counselling and we have gotten great feedback.
Stepping Stones is truly exceptional and committed
Stepping Stones International works with innovative approaches and deals with problems that the Government finds very hard to tackle. Their target groups are the most vulnerable and hard to reach children that needs to assistance to get ahead on an equal as possible footing with the rest of the population. I am also impressed with their dedication to the work they are doing!
It was very informative on issues of gender based violence. I was able to get equipped on how to help learners in my school who come with issues that are gendered and resemble abuse that may have occurred because of the mere fact that they are male or female.
I am so grateful for my time at SSI. Everything they do behind the scenes and with the kids is so inspiring. I had the pleasure of working with the kids & in the main office. SSI has made an impact on so many children's lives & I can't wait to see the progress they continue to make. Whether in Botswana, or worldwide!
As an employee of the Ministry of Basic Education in Mochudi, I have had a very cordial working relationship with SSI, both at personal and professional levels. The staff is friendly, courteous and highly knowledgeable, and they are doing a great job in supporting the education and general welfare of young vulnerable people. I would rate SSI 10/10 anytime.
Stepping Stones International is filled with a team who literally dedicate their lives to supporting the youth of Botswana. I think one of their biggest strengths is their direct contact with the community, because they ARE the community. Everyone knows them, respects their work, and knows they are doing great things for Botswana.
It is inspiring to see the impact Stepping Stones International is having on the youth of Botswana. Their hard work and dedication is manifested in the lives of the youth to whom they are dedicated. During the time I spent volunteering at Stepping Stones, I was trained to conduct literacy sessions with one of the participants. As we progressed through the literacy clinic, it was not only his literacy skills that improved, his self confidence, behavior and schoolwork all improved as a whole. Stepping Stones knows how to focus on their participants to create lasting changes in their lives.
Stepping Stones International is an NGO that is passionate about what they do: protecting and empowering vulnerable youth and combating injustice such as child (sexual) abuse and gender-based violence. They go the extra mile to create impact.
Their approach includes all levels of society: the youth themselves, their families, their communities, service providers, traditional leaders and lastly governments and politicians for advocacy.
Stepping Stones uses evidence-based approaches, but always tries to find innovative and creative ways to reach their goals. They are a reliable organisation and deliver what is promised. That makes this organisation a leader in the field.
I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks as a volunteer teaching literacy skills to students and teachers at Stepping Stones International in Mochudi and Gabarone, Botswana. During that time I came to know Lisa Jamu , Connie Mogara, Lyan Sebeke and many others who, with passion and dedication provide orphaned and vulnerable youth the emotional, physical and mental support to necessary to become independent, successful adults. Stepping Stones International is the real deal - committed to changing the lives of those who would otherwise have been left behind. There is a huge need for the services they provide in this developing part of the world. It was truly a pleasure to have been part of the team!
I have done a two week internship at Stepping Stones International and although I only had so little time to know everything about this NGO, I was amazed by all the things they organise for the youth. I got the chance to teach the in-school particants a dance to a Dutch song, as I am from Holland, and they absolutely loved it! What an enthusiasm in this organization! I would love to go back!
My experience is indirectly with the organization, however I personally know several employees who all exhibit an incredible dedication and commitment to making the organization better, along with the lives of everyone that it helps.
Its incredible to see how much Stepping Stones International has evolved over the past 10 years. It is truly inspiring to see just how many vulnerable youth they empower in so many different communities across Botswana. What I found most impressive throughout my time volunteering with them is that SSI not only focuses its efforts on youth, but also directs its efforts to support entire communities to ensure long-lasting change. I am so proud to be volunteering with this organization, and cannot wait to see where the next 10 years will take it!
A wonderful organization that has been a great servant in Botswana for over 10 years.
Dedicated people, good organisation, doing a great job in Botswana where few organisation are active due to the middle-income status of the country. Absolutely useful.
Fully committed team, provinding the best they can to help Botswana's youth to develop better!
I went to Botswana last month to help Stepping Stones International to improve some internal processes and what I found there was a group of people highly engaged, committed and happy with their work of helping the youth of Botswana.
I'm completely amazed by the capacity and innovative thinking that Stepping Stones has, and I left the country missing all this energy already! I wish I have the opportunity to come back and I'm fully committed to help the organization always and always! Thanks Stepping Stones for making this world a better place!
Interning for Stepping Stones International was one of the best experience I could have asked for in my field of study. The organization makes a difference in the lives of youth in Mochudi and focus on important issue through informal education. Their knowledgeable and welcoming staff do an amazing job in teaching youth life-skills and creating opportunities that help enrich their future!
SSI is improving people's life’s by guaranteeing youth in Botswana to have a better future! !!
I am honored to write a brief and my honest review for Stepping Stones International (SSI).
I served at SSI for 27 months as a US - Peace Corps Volunteer.
SSI is an NGO that is committed on to three principles: 1) Transparency, 2) Good Governance and 3) Accountability to Donors.
Following on the above three broad principles, has increased the legitimacy and credibility of SSI's financial procedures, its effectiveness of its programs and has earned tremendous respect in the communities of Botswana and within the local and international donor agencies.
Good governance and self-regulatory initiatives and commitment to their principles are the most important drivers for this NGO, in bringing behavior change not only within the direct beneficiaries of SSI but overall in the local communities.
Accountability to it beneficiaries involves all its stakeholders in processes. SSI works in consultation with local communities by drawing on local skills and knowledge.
This NGO is known for investing its resources in its local staff empowering and ensuring professionalism in project designing and its execution for bringing the best to meet its local needs; increases local capacity and skills base, and increases the commitment of the community to support the project.
SSI creates a conducive and supportive working environment for existing staff and international volunteers who bring their expertise to this NGO. SSI is committed to its principles to help to improve the effectiveness of achieving its mission.
Anis Ajani - From Dallas
Their programmes actually work and there is no two ways about it.
Stepping Stones International has made a significant difference in the lives of participants especially in the reading programs. The students are now reading, comprehending, learning and passing tests which allows them to continue in further education and/or in the job market. As well, the youth are experiencing new adventures which we take for granted daily, such as realizing their self value, finding hidden talents, making new friends, and realizing care and love!!!
SSI, you are the very BEST!!! Keep up the wonderful successes!
Stepping Stones International is a one of a kind NGO in Botswana giving hope and life to youth ages 12-18 and beyond. These children are being fed, taught social skills, given a chance to know their worth and value. They have been robbed of a childhood and are given the chance to pick themselves up and realize that they are loved and are very valuable souls. They are receiving tutoring and are passing their tests and moving on to the next level of education. Many have progressed to employment in a field of their liking and choice. If not for this opportunity all would be out in the streets idly wandering and wondering and most likely engaging in activities of an evil nature.
Yes! Stepping Stones International is WONDERFUL AND VALUABLE!!!!!!!!!!! It is a happy place for many!!!
Stepping Stones does great work in Botswana! I had the opportunity to volunteer with them earlier this year and was amazed by the energy and dedication of the entire staff.
I am Hosanah khumalo
i have being started to come in stepping stones international.
important things that i have learned and forget in my life as i person is that when life give you 100 reasons to cry show life that you have 1000 reason to smile.....
I am vinoliah munyandi
Being in stepping stones international has taught me some life skills, like for example stress control measures and decision making skills like how to choose between two or more alternatives .I have also lean't how to make a cv, the most important thing that is required in a CV.
SSI empowers children to become successful, competent, and courageous young adults. The SSI staff provides the children opportunities for personal growth, conversations and reflections on daily and life issues, and outside resources to help increase self-esteem. I wish SSI could be implemented in so many other countries for children in need.
SSi provides teenage children a safe and nurturing place where they feel a sense of belonging.
The children are provided with experiences they may not get elsewhere. Positive guidance and direction is modeled for the children by the excellent educators at SSI. Botswana is lucky to have this organization and hopefully SSI continues to expand in other countries.
Stepping Stones International (SSI) opens the doors to a world that many did not know even existed. It allows children, who are of lower socio-economic class and vulnerable, to succeed in school, pass exams, progress to a higher education, earn jobs, better their personal lives and self, receive counseling for various hardships they have and/or are currently enduring, form healthy relationships with others, help their families, and give back to their community. SSI believes in these kiddos' potential and worth, while also encouraging them to do their best and be their best self. This organization may only be located in one country, but it has made its impact and stamp all over the world, to include, Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States!!!
SSI is committed to the population that rarely gets targeted in Botswana and many other countries in Africa! This NGO feeds the kids, teaches them life skills that they would not otherwise know, educates/tutors them in areas they are struggling in academically, prepares them to achieve a passing score on their tests, allows them a safe environment to talk about daily life struggles, as well as things that have happened to them (things that we cannot even imagine), and exposes them to experiences in the community that they would not otherwise have access to. The volunteers and staff at SSI are extremely committed to the kids and are completely invested in helping them to succeed. I just hope that SSI's ideals and goals are able to spread to other contries and continents!!!
Stepping Stones International is a non-profit organization that is doing great work and making large strides to give teachers and students the skills they need to succeed and create for themselves a better future.
SSI's leadership programme has made great strides in getting out of school youth either back into the education system or finding them work. Their leadership programme has done a lot for young Batswana, especially in the Mochudi area where they are based. They also assist tertiary institutions by providing positions for professional attachments which is a great opportunity for skills exchange, but also demonstrates their commitment to assisting and empowering young people from all walks of life.
I have worked with Stepping Stones International when they were a sub-contractor to Education Development Center (EDC). I have been very impressed with their dedication to the welfare of vulnerable adolescents. I have seen how they have given hope to many young people by equipping with much-needed skills to navigate the world. There are many stories of young people who have turned out to be excellent leaders in the community because of Stepping Stones International. An excellent organization which lives up to it's vision and mission.
Stepping Stones International provides much needed services to at-risk young people. This organization should be a model for other communities who want to provide a crucial bridge of skills, support and knowledge for teens as they move towards adulthood.
Partnering with organizations like the University of Utah Reading Clinic in Salt Lake City to provide research based reading instruction is just one way that SSI is providing their students with valuable skills that will affect them the rest of their lives.
Hats off to SSI!
Stepping Stones is an incredible nonprofit that is seeking to change the lives of vulnerable youth in Botswana. The people are passionate and committed and the difference SSI makes in children's lives is invaluable.
Stepping Stones International is an excellent organization genuinely dedicated in supporting orphaned and vulnerable youth with their educational, emotional, social and physical health and well-being. While volunteering with the education program in 2011, I learned a lot from the youth, staff and volunteers and in turn they were open to new ideas and strategies. This organization collaborates well with community members of varying scales to seek out and provide the best programing and opportunities for its youth. It is a great organization with which to volunteer and I still hope to return some day!
Stepping Stones is a wonderful organization that plays a key role in supporting youth in Botswana in a manner that engages, empowers, and educates vulnerable youth. The integration with and respect for the greater community in which it works contributes to its success. It has a clear focus as an organization, a dedicated leadership, and an understanding of how to combine the best of Botswana, the US, and the region to create meaningful programs in youth development that focus on the overall well-being and future success of vulnerable youth.