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Raising an Autistic child: the story of Tebogo

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When he was two years old, Tebogo Mosarwe knew her son was different from other children his age. Unlike other children, he was hyper active and did not make an effort to utter words or show signs that he understood anything communicated to him. This worried the mother. She began looking for specialised treatment to understand her son’s condition. “As he grew up, the challenges became more elaborate,” the mother of three says. She could not maintain house helps as they left one after the other. Her social life also took a nosedive. She started to stay away from friends. Not because she wanted to, but because her son was hyper active. And most people would not be comfortable with that. “We took him to a kinder garden and there were always complaints. The teachers could not handle him,” she said. Due to the challenges and the added responsibilities, Mosarwe resigned from her job.

She opted for self-employment. In this way, she could have time to focus on her child. Her experience is that raising a child with autism is a constant challenge. “It is a full time job that one cannot delegate to someone else. As the child grows, the demands also increase.” There are times he is calm but many are the sleepless nights when he stays awake, cries and throws things around the house. “It is at this point that parental love comes handy,” she says with a warm smile. As difficult and frustrating as the experience of raising a special needs child can get sometimes, it has made Mosarwe realise how strong she is.

“I have learnt about my own strengths. I have learnt how deep love can be,” she admits. With support from her husband, they have now been able to take their son to a special school that takes care of children with special needs. The boy is now four years old. He presents himself like a normal child but still has his moments. “There has been amazing progress. He can feed himself now, undress and even go to the toilet by himself,” says the visibly proud Mosarwe. Slowly, she is redeeming her bubbly personality. She is a member of a support group of parents of children with autism. Here, they encourage and comfort each other. “Creating awareness and giving unconditional love to children with this disorder is the first step towards helping them,” she narrates with a captivating smile.

 

Ambrose Academy School in Mogoditshane trains children with special needs. It currently has 36 children between the ages of two and 11 years presenting different conditions from Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Down Syndrome to those with hearing impairment among others. School Head, Irina Ivanova, a sweet slow talking woman of Eastern Europe stock, has a word of counsel regarding children with special needs.

“They should not be hidden from the community. Instead, they need individualised education plans.” says the Ivanova.This plan, she says, is a strategy outlining objectives; how they will be executed; who is involved, for example, therapist, nutritionist, parents, siblings and so forth; so that they can work as a team to achieve desired results.

“Autism presents itself at different levels, this may be mild to extreme and this is where a doctor comes in to educate about the condition if the behaviour of the child gets out of control,” she adds. Although financially distressed, the school boasts four teachers including experts, such as clinicians, therapists and nutritionists, who come on a need to basis. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that one out of every 68 children worldwide is affected by Autism. Mosarwe emphasised the need to love children with autism because love conquers all.

 

 

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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