The future of children under the care of Childline Botswana looks bleak as the organization faces closure due to insufficient funding.
Information reaching Sunday Standard suggests that Childline was last year given P1 million by government but this year the government managed to pop out only P500 000.
Private companies that have been funding Childline are alleged to have pulled out due to the economic meltdown.
“We might be forced to close down if nobody comes to our rescue as soon as possible,” Olebile Machete, Childline’s Program manager, told The Sunday Standard. “The situation as I speak to you is really bad because we have been relying on sponsorships but are now being left in the cold.”
Machete said that 12 private companies that had been fully sponsoring them since their establishment 19 years ago had pulled out due to economic hardships.
“That was the hardest hit ever but the sponsors promised us that if the economy recovers they will sponsor us again,” he said, adding that “the government has also cut its funds almost by half and that also contributed to our problems”.
Machete said that if a good Samaritan does not come to their aid, they will collapse in a few weeks’ time.
Childline currently cares for about twenty children.
Machete said that sometime in February, Childline officials met with the state president and explained to him the problems they are facing.
He said after meeting with the president, the government gave them some funds, which they used to employ two social workers and a sociologist for a period of a year.
Currently, he said, they are busy trying to organize some fund-raising activities in order to supplement what they have.
He appealed to members of the public to give a helping hand to rescue the center from imminent closure.