SOS Children in Botswana

SOS Children Sponsorship Sites in Botswana

The Republic of Botswana is in southern Africa, north of South Africa and to the west of Zimbabwe, with Namibia on its eastern border. Since independence in 1966 there have been many impressive social and economic improvements. Ninety-seven per cent of the 1.5 million population have access to safe water, and with free primary education access to learning is high with over 84 per cent of children enrolled. However, the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate in the world is creating enormous problems. Close to 22 per cent of the population is HIV positive and life expectancy has dropped from 65 to 38 years. The number of orphans under the age of 15, because of AIDS, is estimated to be nearly 80,000.

Although agriculture provides a livelihood for more than 80 per cent of the population, it supplies only about half of the country's food needs, with poor crops resulting from bad soils and erratic rainfall. Subsistence farming - crops such as sorghum, maize, millet and pulses - predominates along with cattle raising. The staple diet of the Batswana is maize meal, sometimes eaten with stewed meat or chicken, and locally grown vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and beans. Citrus fruits and melons are common.

SOS Children Botswana

SOS Children began working in Botswana in 1986 when the charity opened a community in Tlokweng in a suburb of the capital, Gabarone, about 7km from the city centre. The village has 15 family houses, and each family has between ten and twelve children whose ages range from just a few days to around 16 years. Children attend the local government schools, all within walking distance, and the younger ones use the SOS kindergarten. At around 16 years old, the children move into one of the three youth houses where they take their first guided steps towards self-sufficiency. An SOS vocational training centre teaches tailoring, welding and carpentry to give them the best possible chance of earning a living when they are ready to leave the village. Tlokweng also has a farm which provides most of the village's food requirements as well as further vocational training opportunities.

SOS Children Francistown was built in 1998. About 400 km north of Gabarone, near the border with Zimbabwe, it has 15 family houses and a kindergarten which, like all SOS kindergartens and schools, is attended by children from the surrounding community as well as from the SOS Children's Village.

A third village is being built at Serowe, about 250km north east of Gabarone. There will be 12 family homes for 120 orphaned and abandoned children and a nursery school

See also Aids Orphan Projects in Botswana, Africa

SOS Children Contact

SOS Children in Botswana

SOS Children Botswana, Southring Road, Plot 2852, PO Box 30396, Gabarone, Botswana
Tel & Fax: +267/39 53 220

Botswana Child Sponsorship

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