Botswana - Africa
Botswana is a middle-income country with a relatively large middle-class population. Despite its economic growth, poverty and inequality remain high. Close to a third of people in Botswana live in poverty, and well over half of those in rural parts lack access to decent sanitation.
At 23% of the adult population, Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world. This has huge human and economic effects on Botswana and means the life expectancy of the population has fallen in recent years. However, improvements have lowered mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and HIV treatment programmes in Botswana have proven effective, providing hope for the future.
Children in Botswana
Of Botswana’s 130,000 orphaned children, as many as 93,000 have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic means that more and more children are taking on responsibility for their families. This means that children do not get the start in life they need to escape the cycle of poverty.
Around 16,000 children in Botswana live with HIV/AIDS. Because of strong social stigma and stereotypes, coming to terms with their HIV status is sometimes very difficult for the young population
Our work in Botswana
Many of the children we care for in Botswana have lost their parents to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At some of our Children’s Villages, we take in young people above the usual age because the disease leaves whole families without caregivers. Many of these children have never attended school and have missed out on a safe, happy childhood. Their parents incapacitated, it became their role to make ends meet. We are there to provide a fresh start for young people robbed of the childhood they deserve.
SOS Children's Villages began working in Botswana in 1986 when we opened a community in Tlokweng. Our up to 160 children attend local schools, all within walking distance. Our social centre run reaches out to vulnerable children and families in Tlokweng as well as in Gaborone. Where needed, we provide school uniforms and we support families in sending their children to primary or secondary school
SOS Children's Village Francistown was built in 1998. It has 16 family houses. The Village runs a nursery school where up to 100 children from SOS families as well as children from the local community are looked after by professional staff. In safe surroundings, the children can play and build happy memories while also being introduced to, and prepared for, daily life. Our social centre is specialised in supporting HIV/AIDS-affected families and works to ensure that the children have access to medical treatment and schooling.
The Village opened in 2009 and comprises 12 family houses and offers a home for up to 120 children. The nursery school provides day care for up to 100 children. A small clinic serves the children in our care and our staff, providing treatment for minor conditions. Much attention is also devoted to the psychosocial needs of the children, so that they may overcome possible traumas and be given the chance to experience just being a child.
SOS Children’s Village Association Botswana
PO Box 30396