Against All Odds


Working Her Way Up

Growing up with her grandparents because her mom was homeless, Goabaone Wetshootsile thought many times how impossible it would be to turn her life around. When Goabaone graduated with a Junior Secondary Certificate, she was jobless for 10 years until Leo Schachter offered her a trainee position polishing diamonds in 1994. Leo Schachter founded the Kalahari Dream® Diamond to tell the amazing stories of their Botswana employees such as Goabaone. Their Botswana manufacturing facility has provided sustainable jobs to the local community for two decades.

School enrollment

At that time, only 50% of the population achieved secondary school enrollment1. Goabaone who had been a standout student, excelled at Leo Schachter and her life began to take a turn. She applied for a plot of land and was immediately granted her request. On this land, she built two traditional huts for her parents and five siblings. As the sole bread winner, Goabaone went to work every day knowing her family depended on her for their very survival. Two years later she built a modern home with two rooms, a toilet, and running water. Later, two additional rooms were added to better accommodate everyone.

Where She is Today

In 2003, Goabaone was married and moved into her own 2 roomed home, which she again funded from the ground up thanks to her job. Goabaone recognizes how blessed she is and her gratitude shines through in her consistent care of her family.

Despite Botswana’s incredible economic achievements, a 2013 report from the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa, housing is still inadequate for over 40% of the population, making Goabaone’s achievements even more impressive. She knows the struggles of former classmates, childhood friends and neighbors who spend each hour of the day wondering where they will sleep and what they will eat.

She currently has two children, whom she loves more than life, and she and her husband are proud to say that their first born, at 26 years old, works in a local hospital after completing higher education.

Goabaone’s story is evidence of rich prosperity fostered, in part, by Leo Schachter employing and training local artisans. None of this would be possible without Goabaone’s job, her dedication, and her hard work.


Did you know that diamonds have helped Botswana keep kids in school?

Read more about Kalahari Dream Diamonds