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Botswana Child Monitor:
A bulletin of recent events, statistics and acquisitions about children

Issue #9


September—October 2006

SARPN acknowledges Gordon Jonathan Lewis, Representative UNICEF Botswana, as a source of this document.
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A Bulletin of Issues and Events on Botswana’s Children

  1. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has honoured the patron of Masiela Trust Fund, Dr Margaret Nasha for her work in helping destitute children and caring for orphans and other vulnerable children. Dr Nasha, who is also the Minister of Local Government, was honoured by the church on 10 September 2006 in Gaborone. She received an award for this distinction.

  2. The Botswana branch of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society held an International AIDS Conference at the Gaborone International Convention Centre from 13 – 16 September, 2006. The objective of the conference was to empower all professionals working with HIV/AIDS and to underscore the importance of research in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as call for renewed commitment and responsible action from all stakeholders. The conference attracted speakers of international repute with experience in HIV/AIDS management.

  3. The Office of the Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Mr Kavis Kario organised a girl empowerment workshop in Selibe Phikwe from 13 – 15 September 2006. The workshop was conducted by the Ministry of Education. The workshop was organised to discuss issues and challenges affecting the girl child and particularly because Selibe Phikwe is dominated by males who work at the copper/nickel BCL mine.

  4. Junior Achievement Botswana (JAB) held a Volunteer Development Programme at Boipuso Hall in Gaborone on 22 September 2006. The event was sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana under the theme “Let their success be your inspiration”. The event was graced by the patron of JAB, His Excellency President Festus Mogae who also gave a keynote address.

  5. The Guidance and Counselling Division in the Ministry of Education held a consultative meeting on the national lifeskills framework. The meeting was held at Phakalane Golf Resort on 4 - 5 October 2006 to discuss the framework and determine critical success factors to the implementation of the framework. The framework will include lifeskills for children between the ages of 0 – 6 years; 7 – 12 years; and 13 – 18 years.

  6. The Department of Social Services in the Ministry of Local Government organised a donor forum on 5 October 2006 to give the private sector and development partners an update on the situation of orphans and vulnerable children in Botswana. The event was held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre under the theme “Funding Human and Institutional Capacities Towards Quality Community-based Child Care”. The aim of the forum was also to strengthen partnership between government, the private sector, development partners and implementing organisations in order to reach more children, in more areas and with more effective interventions at community level.

  7. On 9 – 13 October 2006, the Ministry of Education invited 100 children to develop Child-Friendly and Gender-Sensitive School Criteria in line with the United Nations Girls Education Initiative. The development of these criteria is part of a consultative process by children, and also aimed at transforming schools into centres of care and support. The United Nations Girls Education Initiative aims at advocating for childfriendly, gender-sensitive rights-based environments for children in and out of school.

  8. A 15-year old student from Morale Junior Secondary School in Mahalapye, Ntebogang Malete and Miss Stigma Free Regina Lesole attended a one day conference on Children and AIDS in Berlin, Germany on 10 October 2006. The conference was organized by the UNICEF National Committee in Germany and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, focusing on children and HIV/AIDS. Ntebogang worked with other children from Germany to produce a political resolution that was read to the conference, and also participated together with Namibia’s Minister of Health in a panel discussion.

  9. The Lions Club of Gaborone organized a peace poster contest among six schools in Gaborone under the theme “Celebrate Peace”. The final ceremony to award prizes to winners was held at Broadhurst Primary School on 21 October 2006. The guest speaker at the event was UNICEF Communication Officer, Kutloano Leshomo.

  10. On 24 October 2006, the US Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Mark Dybul met with the president, HE Festus Mogae in Gaborone. Mr Dybul has applauded the rollout of the early infant diagnosis of HIV programme throughout the country. Through the programme, infants with HIV can now be diagnosed at 6 months as opposed to the usual 18 months through the dried blood spot or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing.

  11. Members of the diplomatic community, government officials and the public celebrated the UN Day at the Tlokweng Main Kgotla on 24 October 2006. The theme of the event was “The UN in Botswana: 40 years of partnership in development”. The main speaker at the event was the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lt-General Mompati Merafhe, whose ministry co-organised the event together with the UN family in Botswana. During the commemoration school children gave commentaries on topics like HIV/AIDS, child rights, education, the environment, governance and security.

  12. The FNB Foundation has donated an amount of P538, 000 to Childline Botswana. The donation was made on 25 October 2006 in Gaborone, by the Chief Executive Officer of FNB Mr Danny Zandamela for the building of a new place of safety for children in Gaborone West. FNB Foundation is one of the more active private sector entities supporting children’s initiatives.

  13. The Department of Labour and Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has launched, on 26 October 2006, an Action Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour in Botswana. The launch followed some research conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Home affairs as well as a survey carried out by the Central Statistics Office, which found out that child labour does exist in Botswana, although not in its worst forms. The purpose of the action programme will be to consult with relevant stakeholders on how to eliminate child labour.

  14. On 26 October 2006, members of the Girl/Boy Education Movement (G/BEM) presented the findings and recommendations of the Telling the Story project to the Minister of Education, Mr Jacob Nkate. Telling the Story is a human interest project capturing stories of school children in Botswana and was conducted by young people in GBEM. The project covered themes such as sexual harassment, early marriages, sexuality, corporal punishment and violence, physical and verbal abuse as well as orphans and vulnerable children.

  15. The Heath Promotion and Education Unit in the Ministry of Health held a directors meeting on 30 October 2006, to discuss how to improve and strengthen the national school health programme. The meeting was held at Gaborone Sun. The overall goal of the school programme is to promote, protect and appraise the health status and well being of students, thus contributing to promotion of maximal health and successful education of the school child.

  16. A stakeholders’ meeting was held at Maharaja Conference Centre in Gaborone on 31 October 2006, to disseminate the Integrated Early Childhood Development Curriculum Blueprint. The blueprint aims to improve the quality and equity of the pre-school services for children and families by providing, among others, guidelines which demarcates clearly the coherence and continuity of the two levels (0-3 and 3-6 years) of the early years system, securing transitions within and towards Standard 1.

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