About Us

Courage. Creativity. Community.

Mission

Growing problem solvers.

Vision

Reimagining education to nurture well-rounded global citizens who build sustainable communities.

Values

Courage

Do right and own your journey.

Creativity

It is the highest calling in all our endeavours to dare to look within, draw on that, and bring it into the world.

Community

Community

It takes a village to raise a child.

Our Journey

Our Journey

Our journey began in 1994, when Raserura English Medium Schools was started by Mrs. F. Fakier and Mr. R. Dow in Mochudi, Botswana. Coincidentally, the initial campus was located next door to the Dow family home (of no relation to Mr. R. Dow), who would, in 2019, become the owners and managers of the school, now known as The Dow Academy.

The Dow Academy’s management ethos is sculptured by our individual stories.

Unity Dow (Chairperson) – “Passion met opportunity; I have carried a dream of how to deliver education that challenges traditional methods for years and with this school, that dream can finally take shape.”

Cheshe Dow (CEO) – “I am driven by a desire to build the type of school for my daughter that I would have wanted to attend.”  

Doru Aldea (CIO) – “I believe great education can empower anyone to have a financially secure future.”

Natasha Dow (COO) – “I want to create a safe space where students can explore and express who they want to be.”

Leonard Uyapo Mutheto (Head of School) – “Successful and effective sustainable national and global development starts in the classroom through character building, behaviour shaping, values inculcation and citizenship training.” 

The Future

thefuture

Written from the perspective of Mpho, a 10 year old learner who is now in 5th year of primary at The Dow Academy; the year is 2025.

Mpho lives with her single mother in the Raserura neighbourhood. Mpho’s mother cannot afford to send Mpho to The Dow Academy.

However, Mpho successfully competed for a needs scholarship funded by members of the Diamond Circle.[1]  

Mpho’s benefactors are 5 Batswana professional friends who have started a scholarship in the memory of a friend who passed away from HIV / AIDS.

Their only requirement is that the recipient of their scholarship be a child within walking distance of the school, who is being raised by a single mother.  

[1] The Diamond Circle is a group of people and organisations who support The Dow Academy’s mission in measurable ways.

After 5 years at TDA, Mpho is fluent in sign language; this allows her to play with and be a translator for a deaf neighbour, Thabang, who has to go to boarding school in another village as there is currently no school that serves her in Mochudi. When Thabang is home on school holidays she is often alone, as aside from her parents no one in her neighbourhood can sign.

The confidence Mpho has developed by being a bridge between Thabang and her community has led her to successfully run for school president.

Mpho’s grandmother makes traditional clay pots. When she was in 3rd year, the Artist-in-Residence was a potter from Maun- a village 1000km from Mochudi. Mpho was very vocal during the Artist-in-Residence dialogues as she was able to share what her grandmother had taught her. Mpho was also very surprised to learn that different types of pottery are a part of the Botswana heritage.

With the significant investment which The Dow Academy has made in ICT (Information Communication Technology), Mpho’s class has a monthly video conference meeting with a class in China to help practice their Chinese language skills. Girls from their sister class will be coming to Botswana to attend the Annual Girls’ Conference; Mpho can’t wait.

5th year primary is a very exciting year for Mpho as this year she gets to take the “Build your own laptop class.” Each year, The Dow Academy receives decommissioned laptops from across the world to teach learners to rebuild their own laptops for them to keep. Mpho has been saving her TDA Carats (The TDA Universe currency is the Carat- earned through work valued by our school community and self-identified by students. Carats are banked, earn interest, loaned and are redeemable in the TDA Universe) in order to buy her laptop at the end of the class.”

TDA Leadership

Unity Dow

Unity Dow

Chairperson

Unity Dow is a Member of Parliament in Botswana. She was the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation. She was also a judge of the High Court of Botswana for 11 years, before her voluntary early retirement in 2009. She was the first female judge of the High Court of Botswana and is the only person who has served in all the three arms of the Botswana Government. 

Unity Dow is a human-rights defender, writer, farmer and a businesswoman.

Cheshe Dow

Cheshe Dow

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As the CEO of The Dow Academy, Ms Dow’s mission is to grow problem solvers with the courage and creativity to tackle the questions yet to be asked, and the sense of community necessary to answer them sustainably.
Cheshe Dow has worked and led in legal, compliance and operational risk management of financial services. Before taking on the role of CEO, Cheshe worked in the rough diamond-trading sector based in Gaborone and London supporting the European and US markets.
Cheshe is an artist, a writer and a firm believer in the opportunities presented by a holistic and inclusive approach to education in building sustainable communities.
Cheshe holds a BA Economics Kenyon College 2002, a Juris Doctor University of Cincinnati College of Law 2007 and an LLM Finance and Law Duisenberg School of Finance 2014.

Doru Aldea

Doru Aldea

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

A former IT Audit Manager and certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Mr Aldea’s skill encompass audit, cyber security and ICT systems implementation.

Doru holds a BA in Management Information Systems and International Business from Butler University 2011.

Natasha Dow

Natasha Dow

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Natasha Dow is an experienced operations management professional. Her work experience includes private foundation fundraising, governance oversight and operational risk management at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Natasha holds a BA in Psychology from Butler University 2010 and a Masters in Public Affairs from Indiana University 2013.

Leonard Uyapo Mutheto

HEAD OF SCHOOLS

A trained teacher, Mr Mutheto’s experience spans primary school teaching, teacher training, management of educational institutions and curriculum development. Mr Mutheto’s last position was with the Ministry of Basic Education in the role of Director responsible for policy formation, coordination, and supervision in the department of curriculum development.

Leonard holds a BA and an Masters in Education from the University of Botswana.

Kido Chaboneka

Technical Assistant to CEO

Ms Chaboneka is responsible for the efficient Management of the CEO’s Office. As part of a dynamic, growing institution, Ms Chaboneka’s daily work spans from the administrative to the strategic. Kido is an energetic, capable and highly driven team member.

Kido holds a BA in Business Administration (International Business) from the University of Botswana.

Philip Fergus

Deputy Head of Schools
Secondary

A seasoned design and innovation teacher and leader, Mr Fergus’ career spans 36 years in teaching and school administration. Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr Fergus has taught and led in both Botswana and the United Kingdom. Mr Fergus joined The Dow Academy in December 2019 to lead the reimagination of education in the secondary section.

Martha Gwisai

Martha Gwisai

Acting Deputy Head of Schools
Primary

Ms Gwisai has been a teacher for over 29 years. Originally from Zimbabwe, Ms Gwisai has taught in Zimbabwe, Norway and Botswana. A primary school teacher by training she developed her repertoire to include music instruction during her career which led to her stint in Norway teaching music from 2005-2006. Ms Gwisai has been with the school since 2009 and has seen her sons successfully graduate from the institution at the top of his class.
Ms Gwisai took over as Acting Deputy Head Primary on 1 January 2021.

The Diamond Circle

The Diamond Circle is a group of people and organisations who support The Dow Academy mission and vision in measurable ways. Our thanks goes out to The Diamond Circle members who support our students’ learning journeys, wherever they may lead them. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Diamond Circle member, please click on the contact button below.

Headquarters

The Dow Academy is located in the village of Mochudi, Botswana, which is 40 kilometres north of the capital, Gaborone. Mochudi has a population of 50,000 residents and is one of the largest villages in Botswana. It is situated in the Bakgatla tribal territory, in Kgatleng District.


Botswana Tourism