Botswana, located in the center of Southern Africa, has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This is mainly due to the country’s careful economic management, diamond wealth and its multi-party democratic government. As of 2021, Botswana has a population of approximately 2.4 million. The country is currently an upper-middle-income country with the potential to become a high-income country by 2036. However, Botswana is facing some challenges. Botswana’s reliance on diamonds makes the country vulnerable to external shocks, which the COVID-19 pandemic made clear when the economy decreased by 8.7% in 2020, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, while Botswana prioritizes education and provides nearly free primary education universally, in 2021, the unemployment rate in Botswana was at 26%.
The World Bank estimates that children in Botswana spend 8.1 years in school, from age 4 to 18, but the number decreases to 5.1 years when factoring in how much time children spend actually learning. This certainly contributes to adults being unable to attain jobs that require certain skills or levels of education. Although progress needs to occur, there are numerous charities in Botswana administering aid. Here are five charities operating in Botswana.
1. Camphill Community Trust
Camphill Community Trust was once a small school, but it currently has more than 100 centers in 18 countries. It supports individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities from early childhood to adulthood. It provides education, a sense of community, and work experience. Camphill Community Trust offers Rankodimo Kindergarten, which is pre-primary learning for 20 children ages 3-5, as well as Rankoromane School for 60 children ages 5-14. Finally, there is Motse Wa Badiri Training which offers quality education, training and jobs for those with disabilities.
It offers a four-year learning program for those who are 14 years or older called The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme (ILLWP). It is available to give students an expansive basis of knowledge and skills. There are 96 students enrolled currently. Overall, Camphill Community Trust is one of the charities in Botswana offering beneficial learning and work experience to children and young adults, helping their chance to become successful adults.
2. SOS Children’s Villages
Botswana is one of the top four countries that HIV and AIDS impact the most. HIV and AIDS have caused suffering for those afflicted and their families and it has negatively impacted Botswana’s economy as it commonly affects working adults. This hurts households financially and decreases the workforce in Botswana. There are around 160,000 children lacking parental care and among them, 120,000 lost that care because of AIDS. When the children’s parents are ill, they have to focus on working to provide for themselves instead of receiving an education. With this in mind, SOS Children’s Villages have been busy making sure that families have basics such as health care, education and counseling available to them.
The organization has been giving support and needed services to more than 130 territories and has helped 4 million children by strengthening family ties and other forms of care. SOS Children’s Villages also provides homes to families in Francistown, Serowe and Tlokweng. These homes are for families completely unable to care for their children. Since each family’s situation is different, the SOS Children’s Villages assistance adapts to each family. SOS Children’s Villages is one of the noteworthy charities in Botswana that is striving to give children a positive environment and a secure future.
3. Ray of Hope Botswana
Ray of Hope Botswana aspires to give children an education that is both comprehensive and consistent since 2015. Located in Gamodubu village, it is a youth-led organization that mentors more than 100 children who are typically 7 years old or younger. Gamodubu village has a primary and secondary school, but for children under the age of 6, the academic foundation is inadequate. Ray of Hope Botswana’s focus is on children who lack access to stable and good quality education. It provides tutoring in Math, English and Life Skills. It is one of the charities in Botswana determined to motivate children to rise above the poverty line.
4. Caritas Botswana
Founded in 1984, Caritas Botswana’s aspiration is to assist people out of poverty. The agency’s efforts promote the poor’s quality of life as it targets education, more adequate use of resources, improved access to health services and community involvement. As previously mentioned, HIV is a serious issue in Botswana. Caritas Botswana’s contributions, which consist of raising awareness and educating people about HIV and AIDS and offering transportation to those needing treatment, are essential in fighting this disease.
Additionally, Caritas Botswana runs more than 20 preschool centers, which train preschool teachers and give education, nutrition and welfare to more than 700 children. Along with this, Caritas Botswana helps communities cultivate long-term solutions for socio-economic development by contributing micro-financing and agricultural supplies such as seeds and farming tools. The agency also helps households increase their income by establishing credit programs and savings.
5. Lady Khama Charitable Trust
The founder of Lady Khama Charitable Trust, which is one of the many productive charities operating in Botswana, is Ian Khama, the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana. Founded in 2002, it raises funds for charities in Botswana that aim to help vulnerable children, women and people living with disabilities. Lady Khama Charitable Trust’s main asset is finding local organizations which are needing support and then providing them with that support. It has more than 18 “community upliftment projects,” nine of which are its core beneficiaries. This includes Camphill Community Trust, Bana Ba Metsi, Childline Botswana, Flying Mission Services, Little Friends Center, SOS Children’s Villages, Ray of Hope Foundation, Cancer Association of Botswana and Sponsor a Child Trust.
Despite the hardships Botswana faces, the country is improving. These five charities operating in Botswana are working to provide much-needed aid to Botswana. With focuses on education, serious illness, inequality, job production, health and security for children, each one is helping Botswana progress with its individual programs and techniques.
– Megan Roush