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SEMK Botswana Annual report 2021

Botswana has not been visited. Contact has been limited to emails and whats apps.

A few children's books and songs have been translated into English and sent to Window of Hope and Marica's nephew via whats app.

A parcel has been sent to Pioneer Academy in Ghanzi, containing books for their library and baby clothes for Window of Hope.

A parcel containing books and baby clothes has been sent to Sea.

There has been contact with Kalahari Peoples Fund through email.

Many research papers on the San have been read.

Contact was made with Khwedom Council Botswana (a non-government organization (NGO) representing the San's interests in Botswana) regarding Debswana Diamond Company's denial of charges concerning Debswana's refusal to compensate the San for the forced relocation from their land to another part of Botswana. This happened during the establishment of the Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) between the 1960s and 1970s. Botswana Khwedom Council has accused Debswana of violating the rights of the San by taking their land, animals and other property and to refuse to compensate them for this. We offered Khwedom Council to write a response to this removal, which we could post on the SEMK website. No response has been received.

There was contact with Stepping Stones International and Debswana. In 2019, Khwedom Council had asked Debswana to create a relief plan to help the San solve their social problems. Debswana commissioned Stepping Stones International to create a comprehensive psychosocial support program in the designated areas.

Khedom Council asked Stepping Stones for the psychosocial report, which was declined because Debswana had given the order for making the report. Debswana did not respond to their request to provide the report.

We have asked Stepping Stones Internatinal and Debswana to send us the report as we are also concerned about the fate of the San and we can learn from the report. After repeating the question twice, we got no response. We asked Khwedom Council if they knew what effect the psychiatric program has had on the San, but received no response. We did receive a description of the projects that Khwedom Council is organizing for the San and the announcement that they are looking for a partner to finance a solar panel on a borehole.

There was contact with Child Frontiers and Unicef Botswana. Through a collaboration of the Department of Social Protection under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Botswana and UNICEF Botswana, these have commissioned Child Frontiers to write an analysis of the Social Work Department and Social Workers in Botswana on the prevention of violence against children. Published March 2020.

Although the recommendations on the problems faced by the Department of Social Work and Social Workers are adequate, they do not include a recommendation to legally ban corporal punishment in Botswana. Corporal punishment was already banned in schools in the Netherlands in 1820. But the Botswana law still refers to:

“A child who has broken the law and has been found guilty can be placed under supervision, in which case a probation officer is the supervisor. It is important to emphasize that corporal punishment is a stipulated punishment that the Children's Court can carry out in the presence of a probation officer and a social worker. There are no custodial measures regarding corporal punishment other than a maximum of six strokes of the cane." ......... "A social worker is also responsible for arranging the funeral for protected children while they are in custody."

On 30 January 2021, I sent an email to Child Frontiers, Unicef The Nederlands and UNICEF Botswana asking if perhaps it had been forgotten to include a recommendation to remove corporal punishment from Botswana law in the report. If one section says that children must be protected from violence, another section says that they are legally allowed to undergo corporal punishment, this report is useless. Unicef Netherlands has replied to my email, Unicef Botswana has not replied. Child Frontiers replied. They will forward my responses to Unicef Botswana.

Solidaridad has been contacted. The Rabobank had suggested that farmers in South America, India and Africa could plant trees between low growing crops that need protection from excessive sunlight. The Rabobank wanted to buy the CO2 compensation rights from these trees and sell them to companies that are not willing, or are not able to sufficiently reduce their own CO2 emissions befor the Climate Conference in Paris in 2022. Solidaridad was asked to mediate in the selling and buying of the rights. The farmers receive 80% of the sales price, 10% goes to the Rabobank and 10% to Soldaridad. We informed Solidaridad that this compensation price was still better than the beads and mirrors that Europeans used to barter for valuable raw materials, but that it was still not decend. The Solidaridad spokesperson was offended that I used the expression "beads and mirrors". According to him, the farmers saw this differently and were very happy with the project.

There has been contact with Hessel and Coby Visser, missionaries who have been living and working in the Ghanzi district in Botswana for many years on behalf of a church in Urk, The Netherlands. Together with the San, they translated the New Testament into Naro (the language the San speak in that region) and also created a Naro/English language course. Hessel has sent me the language course. Due to its difficulty and lack of time to study it, I haven't gotten very far yet.

Financial support was given to Window of Hope and a Pioneer Academy student.

It was a great shock to us when we received word from Window of Hope on December 9th that Qwaa Qhoma had passed away and had been buried by Pastor Johannes Kahuadi on December 9th. The pastor only knew that he had been ill for a while, but not what had caused him to die.
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