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 the
project 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 outstanding
academic 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.
From Mmegi Newspaper, Botswana - 14th July 2016