Help for orphaned and vulnerable children in Botswana

Botswana is a popular tourist destination that is home to the famous Okavango Delta. The breathtaking scenery and abundance of wildlife attract thousands of tourists every year, who come to enjoy some of the most beautiful places in the world. In Maun, the starting point for many safaris, the Bana Ba Letsatsi Foundation (BBL) has been committed to helping the most vulnerable members of society for 18 years. Bana Ba Letsatsi means «children under the sun» in the local language.

The foundation runs a rehabilitation centre that keeps orphaned and vulnerable children off the streets by reintegrating them into mainstream schools, offering them meaningful leisure activities and providing them with counselling and psychosocial support until they finish school. Due to the effects of the corona virus on the tourism sector, BBL is now in acute financial difficulties, as the institution is dependent on its support contributions. 80% of BBL’s income comes from the tourism sector, which has been shut down worldwide due to border closures and travel restrictions.

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The survival of the BBL is at risk

Against this background, BBL was forced to make tough decisions to enable the organisation to operate during the corona virus pandemic. The organisation had to lay off five employees. Since the lockdown, the core team of employees has waived a large part of their salaries in order to keep operations at least on «low flame». Without bridging finance, there is a danger that the BBL will have to be closed down completely. This would destroy decades of work and commitment for hundreds of children and young people affected by poverty. Please help to ensure that this does not happen and that BBL can continue its work during and after the pandemic.

The children who are looked after at BBL are orphaned and some of them are particularly endangered and vulnerable. BBL plays a fundamental role in re-enrolling them in mainstream schools and keeping them off the streets through psychosocial services and daily meals. 50% of the children do not receive food aid from the government. If they are not cared for, many of them end up on the streets where they are left to fend for themselves. This puts them at risk of being abused and, in the current situation, infected with the coronavirus.

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The BBL needs your support

Since the lockdown and extreme social distancing, the number of cases of abuse and rape of minors aged between two and twelve years has risen drastically. This requires determined intervention on the part of the BBL and home visits to ensure the safety of the children in care.

It is therefore vital that BBL staff are able to deliver food packs and that social workers can make home visits as well as continue to offer their support on site. BBL needs CHF 2600.00 per month for these concrete aid measures. To bridge the next three months, the project goal of CHF 7800.00 must be reached. With your help you will make an important contribution to this valuable project. Many thanks!

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