16 April 2018

Botswana: Deputy Mayor Urges Residents to Tackle Challenges

Lobatse — Lobatse Town Council deputy mayor, Mr Francis Mokwena has encouraged residents of Lobatse to own behavioral challenges faced by the youth and take part in addressing them.

Mr Mokwena said this during an open day of Lobatse Urban Rhythm Youth centre on Thursday.

He said the youth centre has over the past years worked hard to positively impact the youth in the town, especially against drug and alcohol abuse and needed to be met half way by residents as well as other stakeholders.

He said the organisation through its outreach programmes had visited several schools around the town and built clubs amongst students to help advice them against sexual indulgence and drug and alcohol abuse.

The deputy mayor said due to limited resources and trained manpower, the organisation could not manage to tackle such issues across the breadth of the town alone hence residents should play their part.

"Urban Rhythm Youth Centre has impacted our youth positively and results are already visible at Ipelegeng junior school where they have been conducting peer counselling for over the past four years. There has never been a single case of teenage pregnancy since their arrival. It is therefore evident that if we could support the organisation and do the same to other schools, we can make an evident change to our youth's behaviors," Mr Mokwena said.

The youth centre's founder and director, Mr Shannon Shores said despite the fact that they achieved great success in changing behaviors of the youth in the town, they were still faced with challenges.

He said lack of resources as well as lack of funding and working space has been a challenge that has over the years only limited them to fewer youth's population.

Mr Shores urged stakeholders to partner with them to drive the spirit of positive peer pressure amongst the youth in order to better the lifestyles of the youth.

"Despite our success in some schools, we still need to go out of our offices to reach the community at large. We provide entertainment and study rooms for the youth around the town, but we are limited by resources. We therefore call for individuals and stakeholders to visit us and build partnerships so that at the end of the day we achieve a greater goal," Mr Shores said.

The organisation was formally established in 2016 and it works with different stakeholders within the Lobatse community to address social ills such as HIV/AIDS, drugs and alcohol abuse and gender based violence.

Source : BOPA

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