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UNICEF: 63 % Batswana children live in poverty

Sixty-three percent of Botswana’s children are not able to access numerous social programmes put in place by government to benefit them, UNICEF Representative, Julianna Lindsey revealed this week. Lindsey was delivering her concept note for the commemoration for the Day of African Child Thursday evening in Gaborone.

“Unfortunately, while the overall ratio (poverty reduction rate) stands at 19 percent, 26 percent of children live in income poverty. More worrying is that 63 percent of children under 18 experience non-monetary poverty. 31 percent are stunted, which reduces cognitive ability and ultimately hurts Botswana’s economic growth prospects,” Lindsey explained.

By non-monetary poverty, Lindsey was referring to accesses to basic services such as, education, health and others. “It is not enough to measure poverty by money,” she stated. She further noted that some children in the country experience different types of crises, including HIV and sexual exploitation among others.

“Botswana is blessed not to have any active conflict or war. I’ve worked in war-torn countries and seen the horrific impact on children’s lives. It is truly a joy to be in a country like Botswana that is peaceful and calm. This is a tremendous testament to the character and values of the citizens of this country. Sadly while outright war does not exist, some children in Botswana still experience different types of crises and UNICEF is committed to supporting the Government as well as civil society, communities, and families to address these issues,” she pointed out.

She mentioned teenage pregnancy as one problem that is prevalent in Botswana. “Some of these teens do not become pregnant by choice. To be precise, some were raped or they were involved in exploitative sexual relationships. While I am devastated at how widespread this issue is, I am encouraged that a wide range of groups in Botswana are starting to talk about the issue,” she stated before adding that, “this is not a political or partisan issue.”

According to her, men have to be helped to understand that it is wrong to abuse girls or to take advantage of their vulnerability and the girls have to be helped to have the courage and confidence to avoid involvement in these relationships and to speak out when they are abused.

“While the Government provides services, communities provide stability and strength of character, which is essential for little children to grow into strong citizens,” she pointed out.

HIV is another major crisis that continues to plague the country and Lindsay called on families, communities and the civil societies to continue addressing this issue.  The 2013 AIDS impact survey IV indicated that HIV prevalence among young people aged 15-24 years was estimated at 7.9% amounting to 20, 700 young people living with HIV with prevalence rate going up as soon as they reach age of 19 and above.

Meanwhile former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Peter Siele, who now sits in the Presidential Inspectorate team, did not deny UNICEF’s findings. He said the government is well aware of the concerns hence it has empowered the department of Social Services d to access and offer relief and social security where it is due.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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