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The building blocks of a loving home

SOS family strengthening programmes help renovate homes so families can provide a secure and safe living environment for children
SOS family strengthening programmes help renovate homes so families can provide a secure and safe living environment for children

The SOS Family Strengthening Programme in Francistown, Botswana, is currently providing support to 215 families, including 586 children. Kayla and her siblings are among the families who are benefiting from the programme. We take a look at how her family’s living situation has transformed with the help of SOS Children.

Kayla lives in a three-bedroom house with her four siblings, but this was not always the case. Four years ago the children’s mother passed away. Kayla took the responsibility of caring for her siblings so that they could stay together. The family was living in extreme poverty and because of this, they were moved to the outskirts of Francistown to make room for development. With no home in their new neighbourhood, Kayla and her siblings built a makeshift shack.

Help through SOS Children

A community-based organization became aware of the family’s living conditions and asked SOS Children to intervene. Our outreach team in the city connected with Kayla and admitted her and her siblings into the SOS Family Strengthening Programme.

House reconstruction in Botswana
Kayla's house before and after the Family Strengthening Programme renovations

“Life used to be very difficult for my family. We used to sleep in a dilapidated structure. During the rainy and winter seasons, we used to spend sleepless nights hoping for the sun to rise,” Kayla recalls.

When they joined the programme, the family was able to find a construction company to renovate and improve their home. Shelter is a basic necessity for anyone. Having a safe living environment, means Kayla and her siblings can concentrate on their further needs and aspirations. Today, Ted, the youngest siblings, has just started primary school and Olivia, 14, has begun her first year at secondary school.

“I can proudly say thank you to the SOS team for identifying our need and for constructing a modern and permanent structure that can shelter my family without fear of collapsing,” says Kayla.

The work of the Family Strengthening Programme in Francistown

SOS Children has been active in Botswana since 1980. The SOS Family Strengthening Programme is currently providing support to 215 families in Francistown. The programme helps young children attend pre-school and nursery by helping families pay school fees and providing transportation to the children. Through dedicated workshops, it also helps children and young people to understand the importance of responsibility and the consequences of poor decision-making. The life skills training is particularly important for children in neighbourhoods affected by drug and alcohol abuse. 

Families such as Kayla’s are assisted with renovating their home to provide a secure and safe living environment for children. SOS Children also enrols family members at vocational training facilities.

In 2014, more than 360,800 children, young people and adults benefited from SOS family strengthening programmes. Learn more about our community outreach programmes around the world.