About Us

 

Our Mission

Step Up is on a mission to educate, inspire and empower young people to achieve their full potential.

Too many young people in Botswana who most need our support lack access to quality learning experiences, enrichment programs and safe environments. We address this opportunity gap by removing socioeconomic barriers and equipping our Achievers with the skills and knowledge to excel in the classroom, community and career.

Birthplace won’t determine their future.

Our Approach

 

Our team works relentlessly to create the pathways that inspire our Achievers to gain the skills, confidence and resilience to build better futures for themselves and their households. By putting the individual at the center of everything we do, Step Up provides the programs, resources and environment that propel our Achievers to not just survive, but to thrive from childhood to adulthood.

We start by creating an emotionally safe and vibrant environment where children and youth feel welcome to be themselves. They explore curiosities, build knowledge and develop agency. Our holistic approach focuses on cultivating the social-emotional development and 21st Century Skills of young people who come from vulnerable communities.

Pathway to Impact

 

People change. Their needs change. It’s a process.

Step Up recognizes that changing the trajectory of a young person’s life requires an investment not over just one or two years, but sustained support over the long term.

Our integrated programs evolve to meet the social, physical and health needs of young people as they mature into adulthood and grow along the pathway.

Our History

 

After working for four years as the Economic Development Advisor in Botswana for an international NGO, Step Up founder Naresh Kachoria observed common themes across the country.

Communities lacked infrastructure. Local organizations focused almost singularly on people reached rather than on people impacted. Community nonprofit leaders did not have a voice in the design of community solutions, instead following the mandate of big dollar donors. 

Naresh believed fiercely in the power of local leadership, where those closest to community challenges need to drive the solutions. He also believed that truly impacting the life of an individual requires a sustained and integrated model that goes beyond focusing on singular, one-off interventions.

Since inception in 2015, Step Up has adhered to its “by the community, for the community” approach, ensuring programs and decisions align with the local context. The Step Up Education Botswana team works relentlessly to focus on outcomes over outputs and provides our Achievers with the solutions and support resources to overcome poverty and community apathy.

Our Team

 

Naresh Kachoria

Naresh Kachoria

Executive Director and Founder

Mompati Mbakhwa

Mompati Mbakhwa

Center Director

Dennisk Masina

Dennisk Masina

Programs Manager

Bonno Keitseng

Bonno Keitseng

Programs Coordinator

Ontibile Mpho

Ontibile Mpho

Programs Coordinator

Mooketsi Maruping

Mooketsi Maruping

Administration and Finance Manager

Katrin Schatz

Katrin Schatz

Programs Advisor

Gracie O’Brien

Gracie O’Brien

Peace Corps Volunteer

Allison Young

Allison Young

Marketing Coordinator

Becca Brogan

Becca Brogan

Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Directors

 

Stephanie Vander Zanden

Stephanie Vander Zanden

Director of International HR, Diversity and Inclusion
Schreiber Foods

Tamirirashe Gambiza

Tamirirashe Gambiza

Manager
CohnReznick LLP

Nathan Ginty

Nathan Ginty

Performance Systems Management Analyst
U.S. Small Business Administration

Ryan Graber

Ryan Graber

Senior Accountant
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

Naresh Kachoria

Naresh Kachoria

Executive Director
Step Up International

Jessica Pellitier

Jessica Pellitier

Government Account Manager
W.W. Grainger

Sonia Vora

Sonia Vora

Head of Talent
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation