Botswana is a large country, bordering with Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. Until 1966 the country was under British rule. Since its independence Botswana has been doing well in comparison with other African countries. The country has a stable democracy and scores well with civil liberties (9.41 out of 10 according to the Democracy Index).
Despite this stable political situation, the country is experiencing a lot of (poverty-related) problems.
|Life Expectancy||64 years|
|% Of people below poverty line||19,3%|
|% Of people literate||85.1%|
|% HIV-affected individuals (15-49 years)||23%|
In Botswana, 26% of the population struggle to eat a nutritious meal. Botswana stands at second place among countries with the most HIV-infected persons (25.2% of the total population) and there are an estimated 130,000 AIDS orphans (UNICEF).
Young Africa Botswana can really make a difference. It is a young and democratic country located in southern Africa. Over 60% of the population is under 30 years. Imagine the enormous potential of Botswana! If these young people are empowered to achieve financial independence, it would make a big national difference within a few years. This potential and necessity is recognised by the government. Thus, various ministries pledged their full cooperation to enable YA pioneers Maarten and Jelena to establish a Young Africa Skills Training Centre in Gaborone, Botswana.
Maarten & Jelena are our pioneers who are in Gaborone working on starting YA Botswana. They tell their story. "We are Maarten (social worker from Holland) and Jelena (an artist from Serbia). We met in Holland ten years ago working on a social project and we realized soon that we share the same dream: going to work with underprivileged youth in Africa. Since then we have combined our talents and skills. We have visited Africa several times and volunteered on development projects there, each time getting closer to realising our African dream. In 2014, we got in touch with Young Africa and after meeting Gonneke, Mathieu and Dorien we were certain that we wanted to go for it. To our great joy the enthusiasm was mutual. After being trained in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, at the Young Africa Centre in October 2015, and going for a ten-day research trip to Botswana, the time had come to become Young Africa pioneers. Our two little daughters went with us and played an important role as well. It was not only that they learnt a lot, they often helped us connect with people and with young people. All our talents, life and work experience have come together in what we do, so it is much more than work for us: it is a dream come true."