Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Nonofo Molefhi says research has shown that young people in Botswana engage in sex at a young age adding that government is concerned about alcohol consumption by young people resulting in teenage pregnancies.
Speaking at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Reach For Life, a program of Love Botswana, the minister said peer pressure was one of the factors that make teenagers fail to focus on their academic lives.
He advised the youth, mostly school going children from primary to tertiary level to be mindful of the steps they take in life and be alert so as to avoid mishaps.
“In some instances, some interventions have not succeeded. They may make sense in paper but attainment of these becomes minimal, which is why there in need to explore new ways to build momentum”, he said.
He commended Maun’s Love Botswana Outreach Mission for the continuous support they give to communities in and around Maun despite the institution being in a traditional set up.
Molefhi said institutions which help socialize children have been eroded by modernity, and in the process lost elements that influenced the growing and raising of children by way of giving them the right direction.
Molefhi was guest speaker at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of Reach For Life, a program of Love Botswana which teaches and motivates teenagers to embrace a lifestyle that is meant to protect them from the risk of disease and death from HIV/AIDS through abstinence.
For her part, Dr Jana Lackey of Love Botswana said their aim is to support government through NGO support. However she noted that they are greatly challenged by the lack of transport and therefore cannot reach out to children in faraway places as they would want. For the past ten years or so, she said Reach For Life has not been funded, which therefore means they cannot engage peer educators. “We need funding for follow up, and to track success more specifically. But without transport, we find ourselves in serious dilemma”, she stated
In response to the lack of funding, the minister said “I am aware that the number of schools and young people that your program can reach is dependent on funding. I therefore appeal to potential donors to include you in your plans because yours is a good cause. I want to say to them that they should always consider your requests for funding favorably, because you play a crucial role in the socio-economic development of this country”.