Gaborone — Botswana Christian Aids Intervention Programme (BOCAIP) has been commended for its continued support to orphans and vulnerable children.
Speaking at a fundraising dinner for Bana-Ba Keletso Day Care Centre in Gaborone recently, Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration permanent secretary Mr Thuso Ramodimoosi said government recognised BOCAIP's role with in attending to vulnerable children.
Mr Ramodimoosi said as a Christian organisation, BOCAIP's unwavering support depended on the church, and therefore, encouraged churches to come forth to assist.
He said BOCAIP had good initiatives which worked hand in hand with government, and that its contribution to fight new HIV infections in Botswana was well documented.
He said government recognised the support and role of civil society in general including BOCAIP, adding that their tireless efforts in the fight against HIV would ensure realisation of the Vision 2036 pillar of Prosperity for All.
Mr Ramodimoosi said as the chairperson of all Ministries Thematic Working Group on social upliftment, he would ensure that BOCAIP was fully engaged to appreciate the challenges they experienced in their interactions with vulnerable members of society.
The thematic working group comprises the private sector and business society who contribute towards social upliftment of vulnerable people in the society.
He said he had learnt through his interaction with BOCAIP that the boy child was also marginalised which should be looked into.
On other issues, Mr Ramodimoosi implored all stakeholders to join hands with government in the fight against social ills that contributed to the rise of new HIV infections common amongst the youth over the age of 33.
He said it was disheartening that Botswana had been trying to end the HIV scourge but the country continued to register about 10 000 new infections annually.
For her part, BOCAIP chief executive officer (CEO), Ms Lorato Mphusu said HIV prevention was still a serious challenge to individuals, families, societies and government as there was still a rise in new infections particularly among young people.
She said BOCAIP as a Christian intervention initiative played leadership role in combating illnesses in a Christian way as well as advocating for achievement of good moral behaviour.
Ms Mphusu said BOCAIP had spread its wings to 16 districts in Botswana advocating for aid on issues such as faithfulness and abstinence among Christians.
BOCAIP Molepolole board chairperson, Mr Hlala Mapenduka said Bana-Ba-Keletso Day Care Centre was in need of financial aid, indicating that the centre was sometimes compelled to close temporarily due to unavailability of operational funds.
Mr Mapenduka said ever since Botswana was regarded as a middle-income country, international donors had backed off making it difficult for some of the NGOs to sustain themselves.
He said the center had capacity to cater for 54 children with two teachers but the numbers had since dropped to 22 children and one teacher due to lack of funds.
He appealed for assistance from government to find ways of to keeping the institution running.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>