Mission Statement: Botswana Orphan Program aims to raise support for effective programs serving AIDS orphans in Botswana. The second goal is to educate Americans regarding the conditions faced by AIDS orphans in Botswana and the overall impact of the AIDS pandemic. The Botswana Orphan Program also fosters cross cultural exchange between the peoples of Botswana and America.
Botswana Orphan Program is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting effective orphan centers in the country of Botswana. The lead center in Reneetswe Orphan Centre cares for 160 orphans five days a week. In response to the increasing number of orphans due to the AIDS pandemic, the Holy Spirit Catholic Church founded the Reneetswe Orphan Center in 2003. Reneetswe now provides care to over 160 orphans 5 days a week.
Orphan children in Botswana often live with relatives. Due to stigma and the extra burden on caregivers, orphans do not always receive the care and protection they deserve. Orphans are at high risk for abuse and exploitation. Center volunteers provide love, support and a safe haven. Through their relationships at the center, the children can begin the process of healing from their traumatic losses.
School age orphans attend the day program 5 days a week. The center volunteers provide a hot nutritious meal. They are assisted with homework and provided with love and guidance. Older orphans act as mentors for younger children. Children are instructed about traditional song, dance, culture and values. They learn about how to protect themselves from HIV.
New programs are starting including a garden project and vocational training to provide orphans with job skills. The program has a completely volunteer staff. All charitable donations are forwarded to Orphan Centers in Botswana, with no funds used for administrative costs.
Links to Additional Information
Bob and Debra Hicks, Program Coordinators
2418 West North Street, Bellingham, WA 98225