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A new Humana office launched in Ramokgwebana

A new Humana office launched in Ramokgwebana

Residents from Ramokgwebana village and surrounding villages in the North East District of Botswana, came out in large numbers to celebrate the opening of a new Humana People to People project office when it was officially opened in October 2017. The office would serve as one of the two mobile teams under the Malaria E8 program operating in North East and Bobirwa Districts, and will consist of a mobile tent with a Nurse and Community Health Workers to carry out malaria tests and treatment in the village and its surroundings.

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Farmer’s Clubs program starts in Botswana

Farmer’s Clubs program starts in Botswana

Small scale farming in Botswana is the most important source of rural livelihoods and is vital to attaining national food security. Despite only contributing 2% to national GDP, over 80 % of Botswana’s rural population is dependent on agriculture for subsistence and income. However, Botswana’s small scale farmers are facing many challenges like poverty, lack of access to markets, climate variability and change, that hinder their sustainability. In an effort to complement the efforts of Government in reducing rural poverty and improving food security, Humana People to People Botswana started the Farmers Clubs Program as from May 2017, implemented through HOPE Humana Palapye. The program is funded by First National Bank Foundation, and later the Seed Co. Group of Companies joined in to provide technical support such as trainings, field work support, procurement of materials and implements, and the Ministry of Agriculture & Food Security provides technical support and guidance for the program.

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GROW Youth Group Member takes charge of his life

GROW Youth Group Member takes charge of his life

Some of the youth of Khonkhwa village seized the opportunity of joining GROW when they encountered HOPE Humana Mabutsane selling the idea to the community of Khonkhwa. They approached some people in the village who had already joined to find out more about GROW and decided to start their own youth group, TSHIPIDI in 2015. GROW (Grassroots Building Our Wealth) is a program which aims to empower disadvantaged groups with business and money skills to generate income to support their families. The program is run by Humana People to People in Ghanzi, Selebi-Phikwe and the Mabutsane area in partnership with the European Union (Empowerment of Non-State Actors), and Project Concern International (PCI).

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CATCH strengthens the role of community leaders

CATCH strengthens the role of community leaders

In Botswana tradition, the Chief in a community was always known to be the fundamental element of all activity in a village. Anything new that was brought to the village came in through the Chief; this may be a new campaign, a new government program, or even a new organization. As the Chief is in charge of that community; it is necessary that he be made aware of what is being brought into his community, what it will affect and how it will change the state of his community. In this way, he would then be able to guide the process as the leader; from introducing and informing the community to the delegation of key people in the community to oversee the adaptation of program or activity into the community.

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HUMANA Child Aid saved my life

HUMANA Child Aid saved my life

Jane Botsheja felt like she was at her very end when she met our people from Humana Child Aid. A resident of the town of Selebi Phikwe, Jane felt she had no more hope and had lost interest in all that was going on around her. She had no job; she had no source of income and as a result had no way of providing for her family. They were living in poverty, but to add on to this, she was caring for her child who was very ill."When I first met them, they were going door to door to assess the well being of children in our area, and were looking for children who were affected by HIV," she recalls. "Mme Monica and Mma Mokgwathi introduced themselves to me, and I showed them my child." She describes how the child was so very sick at the time and even had sores all over her body. Her child had also been unable to complete her Form Five for two successive years, because of her illness.Jane was offered counseling by the Child Aid officers, while working closely with the child, Lebo. They counseled Lebo, and also referred her to other service providers to get treatment. "They gave me such intense counseling, if you had seen the state I was in when they came here, you would just not believe it!" she laughs. That was in 2009, and she remembers that the Humana Child Aid offices were housed at the Selebi Phikwe Town Council then, and it is at this time that she began her journey with Humana.

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Tuberculosis in Mining Societies (TIMS) program started

Tuberculosis in Mining Societies (TIMS) program started

Community Health Workers from Humana People to People Botswana (HPP) have started the work in the mining towns Palapye, Francistown and Selebi-Phikwe. The program is called TIMS package C: Tuberculosis Screening and Active Case finding. HPP will assist 22,000 mine workers, ex-mine workers and their family members to discover if they have TB and if they have, then support them to be cured.

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Community Dashboard launch in Taung

Community Dashboard launch in Taung

Communities Acting Together to take control of HIV (CATCH) is a community-driven approach hosted by the traditional leadership (Kgosi), supporting the initiative and organizing of the villagers into action groups to arrange actions as a response to  HIV and health issues in the community. The community invented a dash board for sharing their results and progress of activities in the efforts to stop new HIV infections and to share information about what they have done as a community using the CATCH approach. On the 6th of September 2016 the community of Taung arranged and hosted a launch of their dash board and to celebrate their results since June 2015 led by Kgosi Masie, the Kgosi of Taung. Taung Village is in South East District.Catch is a bottom-up community driven approach based on the strengths of the community. It prompts communities to be organised in groups and to initiate actions according to their own assessment, towards reaching the "zero infection" goal in their locality. Taking the audience through the steps they followed to reach to the launch, Kgosi Reuben Masie of Taung Village stressed the importance of securing a systematic introduction to the traditional leaders or DiKgosi, who are the drivers in each community. "Give them the respect they deserve and time to work together with their communities and different Government departments in the area, to allow them the platform to view community concerns, map the way forward to assist their communities for better results".The Village Development Committee Chairperson shared what she learnt from the CATCH approach. “If you want to achieve your goal as a community you have to stand up and act, not depend on experts. Our work with CATCH has reduced the uptake of alcohol through intensive discussions with other community members. Now more people test for HIV and know their status as compared to before. I would say thank you to Humana People to People for facilitating CATCH, for it has played a pivotal role in the community"The Dashboard was officially launched and unveiled by Paramount Chief of the Balete tribe, Kgosi Mosadi Seboko.

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Humana People to People receiving an Award

Humana People to People receiving an Award

The District Health Management Team (DHMT) for the Greater Francistown area recently showed appreciation for the work that we do as Humana People to People by awarding us a Certificate of Appreciation through HOPE Humana Francistown.

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Demonstration Garden in HOPE Humana Palapye

Demonstration Garden in HOPE Humana Palapye

HOPE Humana is at the moment demonstrating a model bachelor garden in the demonstration plot. The project is welcoming interested garden farmers to visit the demonstration garden in Palapye. Everybody can make themselves a small food garden at home, growing lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and or beans. The bachelor garden consists of a 25kg wowen bag from maize millet, soil mixed with compost and chicken manure and a 2 litre plastic bottle. Holes are cut in the bag, big enough for each plant to grow. Holes are made by a thin nail in the lit of the bottle, and the bottom of the bottle is cut out. The bottle is placed upside down in its own hole in the middle of the bag. The bottle is filled up every time it is empty. From there the water sips out and wet the soil. The bag protects the water in the soil from evaporating. The bottle will need more water every fourth day. The onion, pepper or chilli should take one hole in the bag and will keep the pests away.In the demo plot interested visitors can also see the practise of growing seedlings in a plastic bag and growing spinach and rape organically with drip irrigation under the shade netting from Department of Crop Production.

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Interview with chief Obusitswe Baker Solomon in Kanye

Interview with chief Obusitswe Baker Solomon in Kanye

HOPE Humana Kanye is producing a short film and therefore went to interview the chief on his opinion and recommendation to this HIV testing project. He said: The Humana HIV Home Based testing is a good initiative, as you know that going into a persons’ home, and talking to them in private about their health status, shows respect and confidentiality assurance which allows the person to freely open up during the discussions because they feel safe at their own home. As what we want to get at the end of the discussion is the overall health status of the person so that we can assist through referring to the relevant people if you are HIV positive.The initiative is good and important in the sense that people shy away from being seen by other community members at health posts taking medication, and since with the home based testing everything is done at home, people accept their status easily hence everything is done at their own comfort zone. What I like about Humana is that they normally come back to check on you as the patient and your progress, and how you feel if enrolled on the medication, how the medication is treating you and if there are any side effects. And they promise confidentiality between the patient, Humana and the doctor that they are being referred to and advise the patient to take and listen to their messages and advises so that he/she can live longer.What I like most about Humana’s initiative is that they don’t talk and test you then go forever, they always come back to visit youand give motivation on life after the diagnose.

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Tselakgopo project a success

Tselakgopo project a success

The project that started in 2011 and ended in June 2016 was an initiative of a non-governmental organisation Humana People to People (HPP) in partnership with Project Concern International (PCI). It was run with P8 million funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Speaking at the project’s closing ceremony on Friday, HPP country director Moses Zulu said the overall goal of the Tselakgopo project was to complement national efforts to improve the quality of life of orphans and vulnerable children as well as their parents.He said the project sought to improve the gender responses and programming in HIV/AIDS activities in Botswana.“We managed to reach 2,781 residents during the course of our project,” he said.Zulu said the project also allowed resource mobilisation that saw them receiving a resource centre worth P2.8 million from the BCL which serves as an educational facility for the orphans and vulnerable children. He attributed the success of the project to the copper/nickel town’s leadership and individuals who provided them with utmost support to ensure its effective implementation.He revealed that the successful implementation of the project has earned them an opportunity to implement a new TB awareness programme in three mining towns, including Selebi-Phikwe, from August 2016.“The close of the Tselakgopo project does not imply that we are leaving Selebi-Phikwe. We vow to continue implementing life-saving and empowerment initiatives for residents of this town,” said Zulu.For her part, PCI representative Lydia Mafoko explained that theproject ran in different phases including the GROW model, which is a self-sustaining model that empowers marginalised women to save and invest their own money to improve their wellbeing.She added that the second phase comprised of an integrated early childhood development model that provided children with pre-school services and after school care-sessions. Mafoko said the model benefited the students as they recorded an outstandingacademic perfomance due to the motivation they received. “There is need to work with schools in addressing HIV/AIDS matters and protecting the girl child especially in school camps,” she advised.Mojamorago Junior Secondary School guidance and counselling teacher Nontando Orateng explained to the gathering that working with HPP through a boot camp has significantly assisted in curbing escalating cases of teenage pregnancy in the school.Jane Motsheja, a beneficiary of the project narrated how the programme assisted her to accept her HIV positive 20-year old daughter and another living with a disability. She said the family was offered counselling, which helped her accept and deal with her situation.Motsheja said she also opened her own laundry business through the GROW programme.Another resident Lucky Ramakhubu gave a testimony of how the GROW model assisted her and 15 fellow unemployed women to start a sustainable money-saving scheme. She said the group meets every Thursday where each member contributes P2 and the money is equally divided among members at the end of the year, a practice which has made them financially independent and able to provide for their families.

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HPP Attends the international AIDS conference 2016 in Durban

HPP Attends the international AIDS conference 2016 in Durban

The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016), themed Access Equity Rights Now, took place on the 18th-22nd July 2016 in Durban, South Africa and HPP had an opportunity to attend in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The AIDS Conference was the premier meeting where science, leadership and community meet for advancing all facets of collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV. The conference demonstrated, how much progress countries have made in implementing and funding evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions. This brought together people to share best practices, learn from one another’s experience and develop new strategies and collaborations. Gathering in Durban, HPP from different countries showed the huge results from the countries on prevention, home HIV testing, Taking Control of TB and Gender Based Violence in partnership with USAID according to the 90-90-90 UNAIDS strategy. Among the delegates attending the conference, was the Bamaletes’ Kgosi Mosadi Seboko, a co-presenter with HPP Country Director Mr. Moses Juma Zulu on the CATCH (Communities Acting Together to Control HIV/AIDS) approach which is taking place in South East district in Botswana. Mr. Moses Juma Zulu highlighted during the presentation that this is a community driven approach as a response to HIV and health. The communities of the concerned villages are the ones running the activities. This is to show and remind all to build on peoples’ power and believing in it as a weapon to control the epidemic. The approach is hosted by and highly supported by the local authorities, being the chiefs and village development committees.

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Mabutsane Economic Strengthening Group

Mabutsane Economic Strengthening Group

Mabutsane Economic Strengthening group (ES) is comprised of 7 women who started recycling of paper to make crafts and ear rings and jam production using melons. They  are sell their finished products to the community members and they have collaborated with S&CD for the group to be part of district market day activities where they can sell and showcase their products. The group coordinator had a meeting with district social and community development office to request support for the group through government alternative package, they were then assessed to find out if they qualified for assistance. The good news is that they met the minimum requirements.

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