President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, cabinet ministers and Office of the President staff refurbished Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme (BOCAIP) offices in Gabane on Friday (July 24).
This was a way of recognising the role played by non-governmental organizations in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at this community service day, Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mr Dikgang Makgalemele said BOCAIP’s commitment and contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS was evident as they had branches throughout the country.
The assistant minister stated that once BOCAIP headquarters moved to Gabane, communities would benefit while contributing to the vision pillar of a healthy nation.
He further highlighted that through community service, government acknowledged productive and innovative efforts like the ones already demonstrated by BOCAIP, an NGO that used the Christian approach to prevention, care and support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The refurbished BOCAIP offices would facilitate the relocation of its headquarters from Gaborone to Gabane. Minister Makgalemele said to speed up this process, Office of the President solicited sponsorships from the private sector as a way of encouraging and supporting BOCAIP’s dream of renovating their offices.
Mr Makgalemele said, “commitments like these enable the society at large to have an opportunity to access health services nearer to their homesteads”.
He also assured the public that government would continue to nurture and support these types of initiatives and commitments.
The national coordinator for BOCAIP, Ms Irene Kwape, thanked cabinet for their time and also for having considered their centre to benefit from one of the President’s initiatives.
She explained that the offices were bought by ACHAP in 2005 and were previously used for commercial purposes in the form of a lodge. After realising that the project was not making profit, they decided to relocate the headquarters to Gabane as they could not afford rented space anymore.
Ms Kwape said cabinet’s gesture had encouraged them to do more for residents as they would start offering their services at the centre.
The activities included painting of the exterior and interior, replacement of light fittings as well as removal of bricks from the gateway.
BOCAIP was founded in 1996 by a small group of religious leaders and officially registered as a non-governmental organization in 1999 under the Register of Societies act. Among their many services, they provide prevention, care and support to HIV/AIDS and TB patients.
Source : BOPA