‘Sedibeng Sa Lorato’ (‘Well of Love’)

Mma Mogapi with children at the Gabane Children's Project ('Sedibeng Sa Lorato')On Friday afternoons, in a yard in Gabane (just outside Gaborone, Botswana) you will hear the laughter and singing of some 60 to 70 children aged 3 to 14 years. They come voluntarily each week to have fun, receive good teaching on skills for life and from the bible, and refreshments.  These children are all from the local community and from a variety of backgrounds and situations; many are orphans (have lost one or both parents) or vulnerable children (defined as, ‘living in an abusive environment, a poverty stricken family unable to access basic services, a child headed household with sick parents, are outside family care, or a child who is HIV positive’). Continue reading “‘Sedibeng Sa Lorato’ (‘Well of Love’)”

Bible Distributions at ARV Clinics

Bible distributions at ARV clinics photo montage 1“What you have given us is even more important than the food we eat … We shall eat of it day and night.” These were the words of one patient at an ARV clinic (providing specialist medical treatment for people with HIV/ AIDS) in Gaborone in response to receiving a Bible. “The Bible is a very precious gift … we are going to use it. We don’t have a Bible in the house,” said another. Such comments were common amongst the 250 patients who were given Bibles across 6 clinics in Gaborone (Phase 2 Clinic, Naledi Clinic, Bontleng Clinic, Broadhurst 3 Clinic, Broadhurst Traditional  Clinic and Nkoyaphiri Clinic). Continue reading “Bible Distributions at ARV Clinics”

Planting Seeds for the Future

School children in Zimbabwe receiving 'Today for Tomorrow' teachingTagwa Chauke, a ‘Life Skills’ trainer with Flying Mission Care Ministries, recently attended training in Mutare (Zimbabwe), to equip her to train people to run the ‘Today for Tomorrow’ course. This course, produced by SIM (Serving In Mission), is aimed at children aged under 14 years and teaches them about discipleship, good health and the issue of HIV and AIDS.  It extends beyond direct teaching to children as it includes care givers in the training, and provides one-on-one follow-up and individual and family counselling where required.

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Smiling Faces and Happy Hearts

Children at Rerotlhe Day Care CentreNiki Basel is a short-term missionary from New Zealand who had the opportunity to visit one of Flying Missions’ partner projects; the Rerotlhe Day Care. Read on to find out what she experienced and learnt during her time at the centre …

Along a dusty, bumpy, dirt road lies Rerotlhe in the settlement of Seherelela.  We arrived to a huddle of blank faces and silent stares; all of the children seemed too frightened to even greet these tall pale-skinned strangers.  Even the greeting of ‘dumelang’ got no response, so I got down on my knees, looked them in their big dark eyes, smiled and said it again. This time, a few of them cracked a smile.  My attempt at communicating with them with simple English words and many hand motions was failing and I realise they knew very little English.  So I quickly learnt a few Setswana phrases – “Ke bidiwa Niki, wena o mang?”, “I am called Niki, and you are?”  This seemed to do the trick and their shyness slowly disappeared as they took turns telling me their names. Continue reading “Smiling Faces and Happy Hearts”

Training ‘Agents of Change’

If you read the story Partnering With Communities to Reduce HIV Transmission, you’ll know Flying Mission sought applicants from local churches to train as Peer Educators. So what happened from there? Read on to see how these trainees will become agents of behaviour change within their communities, as Flying Mission teaches them to deliver  HIV outreach programmes.

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Partnering with communities to reduce HIV transmission

“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well…”

(Proverbs 5:15)

Attending a recent Flying Mission presentation highlighted that this verse isn’t simply referring to H2O!

MCP PresentationIt was yet another clear sunny morning in Gaborone. I was on the road early heading to Molepolole (an hours drive away) to see how Flying Mission (FM) is working to reduce the transmission of HIV in Botswana. Here I would meet FM Care Ministry Life Skills Co-ordinators- Emanuel and Tagwa, as they delivered yet another presentation to local church representatives, enlisting them to be part of this work.

Botswana has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. One of the factors contributing to this is that it’s not uncommon for some people here – whether young, old, single or married; to be involved in multiple concurrent partnerships (MCP’s) – relationship’s with two, or even more, partners at the same time. Continue reading “Partnering with communities to reduce HIV transmission”

She’s At It Again!

youth trainingThe last time I saw Flying Mission’s Mercy Leshomo in action, she was teaching basic financial skills to a group of home-based care volunteers. Today she was at it again, only this time she was teaching these skills to a group of dynamic young adults. Each of these youth has received Lifeskills training from Flying Mission and is in turn now teaching his or her peers. Most of them have founded or are leading youth clubs, with the purpose of teaching and encouraging the youth in their communities to make good life choices. One participant mentioned why they are so passionate about learning everything they can to help their clubs grow and develop. “It’s reported that 25% of those in our country who are HIV+ don’t even know it. We are still in denial. We are telling ourselves that this is a problem only in the city, but it is a problem in our villages, too. It is important to be informed. Continue reading “She’s At It Again!”

Cook Us ‘Til We’re Roasted!

Mercy teachingWhen I left my house this morning, I knew only that I was going to write a story about a Capacity Building workshop given by Flying Mission. My first question exposed my ignorance. "What is Capacity Building?" I asked Mercy Leshome, the workshop facilitator. "Capacity Building is helping an organisation, or even an individual, become self-supporting and income-producing with skills it already possess, and by teaching new skills", she said. In this case, Mercy was teaching Basic Tools for Managing Finances to volunteers from Home Based Care Groups and HIV/AIDS Support Groups. Continue reading “Cook Us ‘Til We’re Roasted!”