Government has made significant strides in creating mutual partnerships that seek to facilitate optimal functioning of children, their families and communities, says the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso
Ms Tshireletso said there had been implementation of various methodologies aimed at facilitating self-sustenance through life skills empowerment, provision of psycho-social support, establishment of community based empowerment initiatives as well as facilitation of all this at a local level through a decentralised governance structure.
Giving a keynote address at the first ever psycho-social support national forum in Botswana on November 25, she said they were aware of the role that the family played in the child development and upbringing, adding that the challenges associated with urban migration and the breakup of the traditional extended family had compromised the ability of families to effectively take up in this role.
Furthermore, Ms Tshireletso stated that many families were struggling with health related problems such as chronic illnesses, depression, poverty, grief and others.
“These have created an urgent need for psycho-social interventions that target families to support them towards achieving an improved psycho-social well-being that will ensure sustainability and lifelong benefits for children,” she said.
The assistant minister said this year’s World AIDS day puts more emphasis on getting zero new infections, discrimination and HIV related deaths, adding that people should acknowledge that an HIV free generation is indeed possible. She said children should be engaged, supported and empowered to become healthy responsible adults and future parents.
“This is very important as we are faced with the reality of children being sexually active at their early ages, increasing antiretroviral treatment default rates among adolescents and increasing teenage pregnancies,” she said.
She said the psycho-social support forum provides a platform for them to consolidate interventions and ensure that they maximise returns in child protection of psycho social support to children at all levels at home, in the community and across all the service points.
Highlighting psycho social support and its value to child development, REPSSI regional aisor, Ms Lynette Mudekunye said psycho social support involves love, care and protection. “All of these are integral to a child’s growing from dependence to independence,” she added.
She said, “Every child needs psycho social support, every child must be protected, and a child who is afraid cannot develop initiative or confidence.”
The forum was held under the theme ‘No child protection without psycho-social support and no psycho-social wellbeing without child protection.’
Source : BOPA
Source : Botswana Daily News