Botswana: Govt Commits to Children Welfare

Gaborone — The Ministry of local government and rural development recently launched the 2nd national situation analysis on orphans and vulnerable children in Gaborone.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister, Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen said as children constitute the majority of the population in Botswana, there is need to continue the commitment of providing for their welfare.

Mr Van Der Westhuizen said partnerships between government and stakeholders must be enhanced in addressing issues that affect orphans and vulnerable children.

"Some children in Botswana are faced with challenges such as inequality, family breakdowns and reduced societal cohesion; that is why today's activity affirms solution by the government to implement the United Nations Convection on the rights of the children, particularly in ensuring their survival, development, protection and participation," he said.

He said strong partnerships must be built with business communities because investment in children is the best investment societies and businesses can make to guarantee their success. Mr Van Der Westhuizen said there are challenges such as shortage of funding and posts for social workers.

"If these challenges are not dealt with, the ministry will face outcomes that are difficult to deal with as they will contribute to broken children with bad history," he said.

Mr Hamilton Mogatusi, Department of Social Protection director said the study established commitment to protecting and safeguarding the well-being of children as a variety of policies, plans, legal instruments, structures and programmes have been put in place to guide the country's response to the needs of orphans, vulnerable children and the families caring for them.

The study made the ministry to realise that orphans were given more attention than vulnerable children.

However, more children are vulnerable due to abuse and HIV though the number of new infections among children had declined due to successful prevention and treatment interventions, he said.

Mr Mogatusi indicated that the government was not doing much when it comes to issues of protecting children as there were organisations operating without licences.

Moreover, some are more into business than to protecting children.

"It is time to turn things around and re-direct in order to have a well-balanced society because there is need to contribute to the welfare of orphans and vaulnerable children," he said.

Source : BOPA

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