The people of Mochudi were of late exposed to the first community campaign addressing issues of sexual abuse in the Kgatleng District.
It is reported that the district as a whole has documented a high incidence of rape, incest and defilement cases amongst residents.
Statistics of rape cases in Mochudi have in the past proved alarmingly high, it’s said that between 2008 and 2009, the Mochudi police recorded 77 rape cases amongst adolescents between the ages of 12-18. From January to April of 2010, an additional 11 cases for the same age group were reported.
The campaign was an initiative of Stepping Stones International (SSI) in collaboration with the World University Services of Canada (WUSC), Mochudi Community Stakeholders such as the local police, S&CD, BOFWA, Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and DRM Hospital.
Established in 2006, SSI is a registered non-profit, non-governmental organization that aims to create an enabling environment for orphans and vulnerable children aged 12-18+ to grow and build their futures. SSI has developed an innovative educational and psychosocial support programme to reach the underserved and at risk population in Mochudi.
Amongst its objectives is the mission to empower youth to become leaders of the next generation by nurturing their mental, physical and spiritual well beings.SSI programmes include peer education, tutored study, confidence and self-esteem building, goal setting, psychosocial support, life and job skills training, expression through art, drama, poetry, music, sports and play, income generating activities, advocacy and community mobilization.
According to Lila Pavey, Director of Programs for Stepping Stones International, the cases of rape in the Kgatleng district is alarming and the purpose of the campaign was to sensitize the community about issues of sexual abuse and gender based violence. Pavey revealed that they had targeted to have with them 10 embassies, 10 companies, Kgosi Sekai and about 39 000 residents to join the march against sexual abuse.
‘In these days of HIV/AIDS we spend so much time talking about the sexual behavior and never about the abuse. We also expect youth to delay sex and abstain with their partners, yet these children have already been well used and exposed to sex by uncles, fathers, step-fathers and brothers,” said Pavey.