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Car knocks mother of 10 children to death



Life has become even more desperate for 10 orphaned children who lost their mother recently in a car accident.

Gale Moipolai, 40, was hit by a car and died on the spot on March 2. She was buried this past weekend in Mmatseta.

Speaking at the family home recently, Gale’s mother, Diane Moipolai, 72, said she was woken up by a frantic knock on the fateful night and it was Gale’s eldest son.

“He was crying hysterically and told me his mother was hit by a car. We are all devastated and heartbroken especially for the small children who will grow up never having got to truly know their mother,” said the grief-stricken grandmother.

She also carries a broken leg and cracked rib which she says she sustained two years ago after being hit by a car at the same spot where her daughter died. Even when she was still alive, Gale and her children lived a hard life according to relatives. Unemployed for a large part of her life save for ‘piece jobs’ here and there, with no dignified home to speak of except a one-roomed shack, the family survived on food parcels and clothes donated by Good Samaritans.

With Gale suddenly gone, the Moipolai family is now in crisis mode about who will care for Gale’s 10 children aged between 22 years and 15 months old. The two older siblings dropped out of school, seven go to Matseta Primary School while the last born is a little over a year old.

When The Midweek Sun team visited the family recently, the matter was yet to be discussed because the family was still busy with burial preparations but according to the relatives, they will most likely have to remain with their grandmother and 86 year-old grandfather.

“Many of us are struggling with health issues and have barely enough to feed our own families,” one of the aunts, Sale Naswe told the publication.

“We also think it is important that they are not separated and should grow up together. That is why we strongly feel they should remain here with their grandmother and plead with government and other Good Samaritans to assist them,” she said.

The grandparents, both of whom are also struggling health-wise, stay in a one and half bed-roomed house and depend on occasional Ipelegeng jobs to make ends meet. “I was recently bitten by a snake and am still recuperating. I’m partially blind. I can barely take care of my wife. I don’t know how we are going to take care of these children when we can barely take care of ourselves. It’s a tough situation we are in,” said the grandfather.

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Botswana urged to sign Maputo

Keletso Thobega



Botswana is one of the five countries that have been advised to sign the Maputo Protocol. Botswana, Egypt and Morocco are the only three African countries that have not signed this Protocol. Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2005, the Maputo Protocol is a ground-breaking protocol on women and girls’ human rights, both within Africa and beyond.

It compensates for the shortcomings in the 1981 African Charter with respect to women and girls rights. It includes 32 articles on women and girls’ rights, and also provides an explicit definition of discrimination against women, which was missing in the African Charter.

The Maputo Protocol defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction or any differential treatment based on sex and whose objectives or effects compromise or destroy the recognition, enjoyment or the exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all spheres of life.”

The State of African Women Report 2018 stipulates that more still needs to be done to implement laws and commitments to the rights of women and girls in African societies. While there has been significant improvements in addressing issues affecting women and girls over the years, the report notes that commitment to girls and women’s right is still lagging behind.

The report highlights that:
“Three in five countries in Africa do not criminalise rape, young women aged 15-24 in sub-Saharan Africa are 2.5 times more likely to be infected by HIV in comparison to men in the same age group, more than half of maternal deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa and that gender based violence and sexual assault still affects women more”.

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Mama Rampa, the Good

Yvonne Mooka



NOBLE CALLING: Martha Rampa on a mission to rescue the underprivileged

Martha Rampa, project manager at AAP Home Based Care and Family Life Programme quit her nursing job over ten years ago to attend to the needs of orphans, poor and sick.

AAP has 3119 orphans and underprivileged children from South East, Kweneng, Kanye and Kgalagadi districts. The Non-Governmental Organisation aims at supporting, providing food, clothing, shelter, education, nursing care, counselling and supporting destitute, terminally ill patients and orphaned children.

According to Rampa, the thrust of the practice is the link between the patient and the clinical management services. “It is a person-centred approach, which ensures that patients receive the appropriate service in a supportive and effective manner. Destitute and orphaned children have over time become integral part AAP programmes,” she said.

Last Saturday, she organised an appreciation dinner for donors. It was a colourful event where beneficiaries had also come to testify about the way their lives have changed since they were enrolled.

One of the young girls said that she had given up on life as she was from a poor family. The under 15 girl said that through AAP, she managed to continue and is exceling at school. A young man under 20 said that he was moved from a settlement where he could not focus on his studies because of his family background.

AAP put him through a different school that has boarding. “At AAP, we call her mama Rampa. She is our mother and we are so blessed to have her,” he said at the event in Gaborone.

The primary aim of AAP is to rehabilitate and develop children in difficult circumstances such as orphaned children, street children, economically poor and socially oppressed children and work for the eradication of child labour and child exploitation.

Rampa said the vision is to help and give many more children a real and loving home which helps them to live and grow up to be free, healthy and independent individuals; to influence behavioural change of individuals, especially those in the realm of sex and family life and to introduce a change that will bring a transformation, which alleviates the impact of HIV/Aids infection and stops the spread of the virus within the community.

She said there were local companies that had committed themselves to giving the children food after every two weeks. Through her gift of counselling, she also assists with providing emotional and spiritual support including counselling to orphans, destitute, terminally ill and the poor. She also prays for them.

She said that since the project started in 2000, the focus was on the care of HIV/AIDS patients. Volunteers were trained to take care of terminally ill patients in their homes. “Due to lack of funds in supporting the volunteers, for three years only 45 were full time serving in the project with great results.

“A networking relationship was established with Ministry of Health/AIDS department and Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs as well as other NGOs like BOCAIP, Clinics around Gaborone and Church leaders. We effectively communicated our mission to our leaders like Counsellors, Members of Parliament and diKgosi in the areas where we are operating,” she said.

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