On 19 January 2019, members of the Rotary Club of Gaborone visited BBM to donate nearly P15,000 of food that hey had collected through their Donate-a-Can project. BBM then distributed the food to its neediest clients in the villages of Mabalane, Malolwane, Malotwana, Mochudi, Ramonaka, and Sikwane.
BBM is the unnamed “PCI Partner” in this story. You can read it below, or follow this link to PCI’s website. BBM is grateful to PCI for its partnership and support.
Thato, a nine-year-old girl from Mochudi, Botswana, is a survivor.
During a routine home visit, a PCI partner and local peer educator trained on how to spot child abuse, gender-based violence and exploitation observed Thato’s extreme health condition and took her immediately to a clinic.
Thato was severely malnourished, weighing only 38 pounds. She was referred to a hospital where she stayed for two weeks. In time, she was diagnosed with HIV and a gastrointestinal disease.
Thato’s HIV-positive mother is a single parent struggled to provide food and other basic needs for her five children. She relied on her oldest daughter, who also had HIV, to care for the younger children.
Weak and unable to fight sickness, Thato didn’t have the energy to attend school before receiving treatment. With proper Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), care and time, Thato’s health improved. She’s received support from a social worker and is receiving a food basket from the government. Today, she’s back in the classroom where she’s learning, growing and thriving.
Due to social and economic hurdles, many young women and girls around the world aren’t empowered to make their own health decisions. They don’t attend school because of social norms and marry at a young age. Violence and the threat of violence weaken their ability to protect themselves. This combination makes young women and girls more vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS.
More than two-thirds of all people living with HIV, 25.8 million, live in Sub-Saharan Africa—including 88 percent of the world’s HIV-positive children.
With funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), PCI is implementing the Tsela Kgopo “Winding Road” Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) & Gender project in Botswana.
Tsela Kgopo helps address factors that increase the vulnerability of OVC, adolescent girls and women, such as HIV/AIDS, chronic poverty, neglect, exploitation and abuse. To help communities help themselves, PCI supports community-based NGO partners with the resources and skills needed to serve as a bridge between government services and households, extend services to where they are needed most, and be sustainable. In 2015, the Tsela Kgopo project reached more than 13,500 people, like Thato.
Thato’s HIV-positive, pregnant sister was referred to a clinic and enrolled in a Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program. Thankfully, she received the treatment and gave birth to an HIV-free baby.
The peer educators, supported by PCI, continue to work with social workers to monitor the family’s situation with regular home visits. They continue to engage Thato’s mother and older sister in discussions to make responsible choices and keep Thato on treatment.
We can’t achieve an AIDS-free generation without reaching out to young women and girls. Our Tsela Kgopo program empowers them to live positively and find their voices.
[Note: This article appears at Barclays’ website. You can visit the link here.]
It is quite a distance from the bustling Mochudi village centre to the home of Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo, otherwise known as BBM. But the distance does not deter the youth in Mochudi from making the trek to attend the weekly training program. The programme focuses on Employment, Vocational and Entrepreneurship skills known as EVE, which is being sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana to the tune of P405, 000.
This week, BBM launched the first training which will cover values, self-confidence, goal setting, letter writing, CV development, career guidance and money management.
“As part of their involvement in the communities within which they operate, Barclays employees in Mochudi have agreed to provide money management training to the young people enrolled in the programme. Our vision is to be the ‘Go-To’ bank and Barclays is excited to have formed this partnership with the Bakgatla community. We will be training close to 150 young people, who will in turn create employment opportunities for other young people in the country,” Racheal Mushaike, Barclays Head of Marketing and Communication revealed.
She mentioned that Barclays and BBM have a long standing relationship through the bank’s annual Make a Difference Day activity, where the youth have been exposed to life skills training and basic life necessities that included provision of gardens, hygiene facilities and shelter.
“Last week more than 100 young people gathered in Mochudi to discuss issues of enterprise development and share experiences in running their individual enterprises. As a development partner Barclays was privileged to address them and share the bank’s vision and strategy for the youth in Botswana,” explained Yodit Molosi, BBB Community Relations Manager.
Scores of young people from Mochudi between 18 and 35 years will benefit from Project EVE whose main goal is to improve the quality of life of youth through employment training, vocational skills development and entrepreneurial training in the District. The programme allows youth to choose how they best see themselves building financially independent and productive lives.
BBM Coordinator, Ms. Stella Raphoto commended Barclays for the encouragement they offer young people, adding that the efforts will go a long way in complementing government efforts to create employment for them.
The young people have expressed interest in learning about brick laying, plumbing, electrician under vocational studies; working as shop assistants, petrol attendants, beauticians and housekeepers in hotels under employment and; developing businesses in poultry, horticulture, health gymnasiums and recycling oil.
“We have established other strategic partnerships to ensure the success of the program. We will be working with the University of Botswana – Business Clinic to provide the enterprise sessions. Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has agreed to provide mentoring services to them, whilst the Construction Industry Trust Fund and Madirelo will provide the vocational training,” said the Coordinator. She further revealed that they have started engaging other stakeholders to consider providing employment to the youth after they have completed their job-readiness training.