Saturday, November 28, 2020

Childline faces tough times as funding dries up

Childline Botswana has been adversely affected by the global financial depression, with various donors pulling the plug on funding.

┬á“Before the global economic downturn, we had 10 companies that gave us grants every year and had formal agreements with them. However, the end of our agreement coincided with the global economic downturn as companies engaged in belt tightening measures and we became a casualty,” revealed Olebile Machete, the Childline Botswana Programmes Officer.

The organisation’s biggest supporter currently is the government through the Department of Social Services.

“We have also received assistance from various private companies that had been mobilized by the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manufacturing (BOCCIM). The most notable has, however, been Letshego Financial Services that has contributed significantly towards our operational costs in the past,” Machete said.

Last year, there was an increase in the demand for its services, the center was fully occupied and had to deal with a waiting list. With the children placed at Childline numbering 20 at a time, Machete says a permanency plan is being sought.

The organisation spends around P100, 000 a month on the care and upkeep of the children, maintaining the shelter and premises, running the 24 hour toll-free helpline, offering counselling to abused children and their families, and preparing abused children for court.

In the face of funds drying up as a result of the global financial recession, the organisation has managed to keep its spirit and integrity afloat in order to put the needs of the children first, says Machete.

“We engaged on an aggressive fund raising campaign that saw us pull through the situation. Though the exercise itself did not raise a lot of money, it gave us a stand point.”

During the lean spell, individual members of society like Layani Makwinja, Sumaiyah Marope and Ladies of Jazz as well organisations like Red Cross and RB2 helped out.

As the world recovers from the recession, it will take a while for donor-funded organisations like Childline Botswana to fully find their feet again as they re-establish relationships with partners.

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