Marang Child Care Network Trust

Equipping NGOs/FBOs/CBOs for the protection and care of Children

Vision and Mission


18 October, 2021

  • Director of Ceremonies,


  • The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Action in  Mozambique, Hon. Ms. Nyelete Mondlane Brooks


  • Hon - MP for Chobe, Honourable Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs ---- Mr. Machana Shamukuni




  • Chairperson of National Children’s Council

Ms Mamikie Kamanakao


  • District Commissioner    Ms Sekgabo


  • Director of Social Protection

Mr Joseph Kgabanyane and other Senior Government officials here present

  • Distinguished Government Officials and Partners


  • The Clergy



  • Ladies and Gentlemen



  • Children



  • Members of  the fourth estate


Director of Ceremonies,

1.0 I feel greatly honoured to be a part of this auspicious moment of reflection in the midst of a pandemic, that continues to wreak havoc in all spheres of human life at both Country, Regional and Global levels. This occasion comes at a time when nations are challenged to combine efforts towards building local, regional, continental and global support to mitigate and combat the many social ills that we face.

      As a region, our economies are not only challenged by COVID-19; we also face political unrests, natural disasters, and many other ills. Hence, the need to develop and implement interventions to build resilience amongst ourselves through the use of local or regional approaches, indigenous knowledge as well as research in the area of Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS).

2.0 This forum is held under the theme “INNOVATE, INTEGRATE, THRIVE”. The theme could not have been more appropriate as we seek new ways through which we can mainstream the pandemic in our daily activities as well as innovative interventions as service providers, care givers and policy makers to mitigate its impact. By now each one of us has either been infected or affected by COVID-19, hence the need to intensify the provision of mental health and psycho-social support as a necessity; be it at the home, schools, community or across all service areas.

Director of Ceremonies,

3.0 This Regional Forum, which is a culmination of several local fora across our respective countries,  bears testimony to the commitment of our Governments  towards facilitating stakeholders through decentralized structures, to play a leading role in the identification, prioritization, planning and implementation of community based MHPSS activities for the benefit of the most vulnerable among us, especially people with disabilities,  elderly, children and youth.


4.0 Through partnerships with r Civil Society, at both Village, District through local authorities, national and international levels, structures have been set up for the engagement of communities and the coordination of child wellbeing activities in order to  continue to influence and mobilize action.


5.0 At the national level, the Children’s Act has provided for the establishment of the National Children’s Council whose core mandate is to coordinate, advocate and   to mobilize resources for the implementation of children’s activities. At district and village levels?



  1. Distinguished Guests ,

I am pleased to inform you that significant strides have been achieved through the creation of  mutual partnerships that seek to facilitate optimal functioning of children, families and communities. To this end, Government has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with several CSOs geared at complementing Government’s effort towards strengthening child protection as well as capacity building. Among such complementary services  provided by e CSOs,  are mental health and psychosocial support interventions and we have witnessed the fruits of such efforts among orphans and vulnerable children.






  1. Honourable Minister,

In our endeavor to facilitate self-sustenance through life skills empowerment, economic empowerment initiatives, provision of psycho-social support and establishment of community based initiatives various methodologies have been employed to respond to the needs of different populations. . Furthermore, we have developed some standard tools and manuals that guide stakeholders in the provision of MHPSS with the help of our partners, REPSSI included.


  1. Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are all aware of the devastation that the COVID-19 epidemic has caused in our economies and its people at both Country and Global levels. One of its adverse effects is the continued loss of lives which has a direct bearing on the number of orphans & vulnerable (OVC), regionally. 


  1. Furthermore, while the demand for services has increased, the pandemic has overstretched the available resources and the need for    retooling of the available human resources to respond to the emerging needs has become even more urgent.
  2.  Ladies and gentlemen, evidence based planning and programming are key to the provision of  responsive and needs based interventions. To this end the   Botswana National Situation Analysis for Orphans and Vulnerable Children  and the Violence Against Children Study (VACS) were conducted in 2018 and 2019 respectively to provide the much needed evidence to inform and direct our interventions, especially with respect the most vulnerable and at risk children.
  3.  Distinguished Guests,

This pandemic has reversed many of the gains that our countries have made because most  resources have had  to be channeled towards the management, treatment as well as mitigation of the impact of the pandemic. The need to coordinate interventions and stakeholders so as to ensure efficiency and  safeguard this huge investment has therefore never been more urgent. 

11.0 Director of Ceremonies,

 In order for us to fully “Innovate, Integrate and Thrive” in the mental health and psychosocial sphere, we have to recognize the significant role that the family plays in child upbringing. The challenges associated with the current situation have, however compromised the ability of families to effectively take up this important role. Many families are struggling with poor mental health due to depression, grief, chronic illness and other growing factors like job security/ unemployment.  This therefore calls for interventions that target families to support them towards improved        mental health and psycho-social wellbeing, to ensure sustainability and lifelong benefits for children.


  1. Distinguished Guests,

We need to change our mindset and refrain from taking children just as subjects of protection. They are in themselves agents of change. Our children are equipped with numerous abilities and skills, which range from intellectual and emotional intelligence, creativity, resilience and other internal skills to find appropriate ways of meeting their needs. We must therefore continuously engage them as we grapple with these issues for which they bear the greatest brunt. We must equip them with skills to enhance their resilience, development and indeed some sense of wellbeing, for they are the drivers of sustainable development, even beyond the pandemic.


  1. Director of Ceremonies,

Global reports have shown an increase in violence against children and gender-based violence (GBV) during lockdown measures, note that that these we times when children were based at home. For example, in just one month in Botswana (March-April 2020) during lock-down period, the Botswana Police Service recorded 80 cases of offences against children (0-18 years). Most of these reported matters were sexual offences, with defilement leading at 46/80 followed by rape at 27/80 respectively. During the same period, Gender-Based Violence cases escalated necessitating admission of 67 persons at Gender Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre shelters. Majority of these were women (65) inclusive of 37 children accompanying them.  This signifies dysfunction in the family system as a protective factor for children.


13.0 Ladies and Gentlemen,

I note with satisfaction that this Forum was preceded by a Children’s Pre Forum  attended by children, regionally,  representing various interest groups. I must appreciate such noble efforts because through them, we are able to provide children a very rare platform for sharing their issues and identifying solutions as partners. This is very much in line with the UN Convention of the Right of the Child (CRC) and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) principle of engaging children in matters that affect their wellbeing (child participation).


  1.  Distinguished  Guests,

Let me take this opportunity to remind ourselves that we have all (Goverments, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners) been charged with the huge responsibility of ensuring a more prosperous, caring and peaceful environment in which we raise our future leaders. Now is the time to DO JUST THAT.


  1.  Director of Ceremonies,

Botswana has, along with some countries in the region, accepted the call from the Global Partnership on Prevention of Violence Against Children (APEVAC) to be a Pathfinder Country. We hope through this journey; we will continue to work with other partners to enhance the protective factors around our children as well as learn from other member states who have already started this journey.


  1.  Director of Ceremonies

 As I conclude, I look forward to reviewing the outcomes of this unique forum with the hope of adopting some learning experiences from other member states in order to fully Innovate our mental health and psychosocial support services, Integrate the new interventions into our new current state and while the recipients of our services Thrive mentally and psychosocially front.


  1.  I thank you for your kind attention, Ladies and Gentlemen.