Tlokweng is located on the outskirts of Gaborone, Botswana’s economic centre. The government has had success with its campaign against the spread of HIV/AIDS, but its effects continue to be felt by many families, placing thousands of children in extremely vulnerable living conditions.
Since 1986, SOS Children has been working to support children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
A video visit to the Children's Village
Why not start off by visiting the SOS Children's Village in Tlokweng via the video playlist below? Then, read more about some of the problems faced by families in the region, and what supporters like you are doing to help.
HIV/AIDS is Tlokweng’s most important social challenge
Tlokweng is a small settlement of about 36,000 people located just 15 kilometres from Botswana’s border with South Africa. It lies on the east side of the Ngotwane River and is often considered part of the city of Gaborone, the political and economic centre of Botswana. Despite their proximity and the influence of the modern streetscape of Gaborone, Tlokweng has retained its traditional charm and character.
Both Tlokweng and Gaborone have experienced rapid increases in population since Botswana gained independence – rising from just 5,000 inhabitants in the 1960s to more than 200,000 today. Tlokweng’s most important social challenge is the effect of HIV/AIDS on its families. Botswana has made great strides in combating the spread of HIV/AIDS though education and providing anti-retroviral treatment to those affected. It is believed that approximately 20% of the country’s population are living with HIV/AIDS.
Supporting vulnerable children and their families
Botswana’s efforts to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS have seen much success, with education programmes, through raising awareness and by providing effective medication to those affected. The campaign has been costly, but it is an investment in the country’s social and economic future, and one that will allow the children of Botswana to look forward to a healthy and more stable tomorrow.
Today, however, the struggle continues for many families, and thousands of children in Tlokweng and Gaborone have become orphans, or will lose their parents in the near future. Extended families are often stretched beyond their means and are unable to provide for another child, and these children can find themselves alone and unable to access the basic essentials for life. Grandparents caring for orphaned relatives usually rely on the assistance of local social services and international charities to meet their families’ needs.
Our work in Tlokweng
SOS Children has been active in Tlokweng and Gaborone since 1986. Our social centre supports and encourages families sending their children to primary or secondary school and, where needed, provides school uniforms.
The majority of families we help are facing hardship and are affected by HIV/AIDS. Psychological support is crucial for the wellbeing of children from these backgrounds and we provide assistance through different initiatives, including camps, where children can take a break from reality and meet others living in similar situations. At our SOS camps, children receive counselling and education on HIV/AIDS and potential threats to their health, such as alcohol.
A stable family home
In Tlokweng, children who are no longer able to live with their parents are able to find a safe and stable with one of our 16 SOS families. Up to 160 children grow up in an affectionate environment together with their brothers and sisters and under the care of an SOS Mother.
SOS children complete primary and secondary schooling with children from the surrounding community and have the opportunity to continue with higher education or vocational training, depending on a development plan that is created for each individual child.
When SOS children are ready to move out of the family home and pursue their independence; the SOS youth programme provides safe, stable accommodation in a semi-independent setting, where they can continue their education and vocational training under the guidance of a qualified counsellor.
SOS Children works closely with local authorities in Tlokweng and Gaborone as they improve social infrastructure to support vulnerable children in the community. Parents and carers are given guidance in parenting and income-generating skills, and families in Tlokweng are provided with vegetable gardens that empower them to feed their own families and also to generate income by selling vegetables at the local market.
We support vulnerable children in Tlokweng by giving them a new family home. With your support, we can give them hope for the future. Will you sponsor a child today?