Red Cross treats orphans and vulnerable children of Dukwi camp

Report
from Botswana Red Cross Society
Published on 30 Aug 2013 View Original

Amongst all vulnerable populations served by Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS), various reports have indicated that a significant number of children living at the Dukwi Refugee Camp are orphans and vulnerable children. BRCS has been providing health care and psychosocial support to this disadvantaged group, equipping them with recreational and life skills since 2001. To date, there are 3,500 refugees of different nationalities dwelling in the camp of which the majorities are from Zimbabwe, Uganda Namibia, Angola, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

Recently, BRCS took to Maun with 27 Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC’s) aged 9 to 15 years from Dukwi Refugee Camp; a memorable journey that brought smiles and tears of joy to these young souls. The 5 day fun filled retreat themed “THE HOPE CAMP” aimed at fostering social interaction, facilitating personal growth amongst the children and ultimately developing their educational and recreational skills. The camp further equipped children with coping skills of dealing with common stressful situations such as grief & bereavement and child abuse (sexual and other forms of violence) while simultaneously establishing a sense of belonging and developing self awareness.

The BRCS team had arranged an array of children activities that included team building exercises, memory book, hero book, songs, painting, drawing, talent shows, visits to various places of interest such as Nhabe Museum, sports activities, boat cruise along Thamalakane River, bonfires and game drive at (Moremi Game Reserve). Moreover, there were group discussions and health talks on HIV/AIDS & Sexual Reproductive Health, all forms of violence, abuse, low self esteem, and peer pressure as they are the dominating negative practices at the Camp. The highlight of this exercise was when children suggested possible solutions to address these problems and they generously thanked BRCS for its tireless efforts in bridging the gaps caused by living as a refugee. At the end of the retreat, it was clear that the camp had brought about a positive change as the children embraced the tag line of the event which was “FORWARD WE GO, BACKWARDS NEVER”.

Thank you cards designed by children to BRCS with various messages such as: “Thank you Red Cross for what you have done in my life, I have now seen places that I never thought I will know, it is so lovely to meet people like you, You are my heroes and I hope I will achieve my goals because of you, you always wipe my tears when I cry but today my cheeks are completely dry. May God bless”. Children having fun and learning life skills “A fantastic experience” Children were taken for a game drive and boat cruise at Moremi Game Reserve and Thamalakane River respectively. Children and their leaders exploring demonstrations by the Fire department at Maun Airport BRCS appeals for your kind support in form of: school backpacks, library books, stationery, indoor games, soccer balls, football kits, clothes, blankets and any other donation that would enhance the services provided by these programme.

For Further information please contact: Botswana Red Cross Society Marketing and communications Department Tel: 3952465 Fax: 3912352 Email: brcs@info.bw OR DUKWI OFFICE Office of the Coordinator Private Bag SOW9 Sowa Botswana Tel: 2977333 Fax: 2977334 Email: brcsdukwi@info.bw