Kedikilwe Applauds SOS

| July 1, 2015

The former vice president, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, has commended SOS Children’s Village for playing a pivotal role in bringing hope to the children and building responsible citizens.

Speaking at the SOS Day recently, Dr Kedikilwe said neglecting children meant the citizens were failing in their duty and let talent that could benefit the country go to waste.

Dr Kedikilwe said with a decayed family system, a child could not have a proper social standing and organisations such as SOS close that gap and raise responsible future citizens.

He also commended the institution for closing the educational gap in the country by running pre-schools that produce children who were competent.

He said the country still needs a National Educational Council that would better identify gaps in the system and come up with possible solutions to address such.

Dr Kedikilwe said he is aware that the P1.3 million grant per year by government was not enough, and it should be understood that government budget was stretched.

He explained that government does not have enough revenue base and only depends on tax and diamond sales.

He explained that there were some challenges facing the tax collection, because Botswana is not the only country that determines the tax and the diamond is faced with a problem of price fluctuation.

SOS national director, Mr Motshwari Kitso said the three villages in Francistown, Serowe and Tlokweng have 2 045 children and already 465 have graduated from the homes.

He said there was a problem of children who were abandoned because when they graduate from the homes they had nowhere to go.

Mr Kitso called on members of the community to volunteer to care for the children adding that SOS has engaged on a country campaign to train parents on foster care programme in order to develop foster banks.

He said SOS Botswana homes were faced with a problem of funding as by next year they were expected to be self-funded.

He explained that currently the homes need P18 million per year, and with the withdrawal of funding, it would be difficult to run the homes because government grant is less than 10 per cent of the running costs.

Mr Kitso called on government to emulate other SADC countries such as Angola, South Africa and Namibia whose governments provide 40 per cent of the running costs.

He said due to shortage of funds SOS Botswana has stopped some programmes such as clinics and considering to hand the running of the pre-schools to the government.

He said consultation on the takeover of pre-schools was on-going, and SOS was willing to hand over structures, programmes and the teachers.

Earlier in her welcome remarks, Francistown mayor, Ms Sylvia Muzila appealed to the corporate and the community to assist SOS with funding and support.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Human Rights

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