Little Friends Centre Serowe, Botswana
School is free in Botswana, except, that is, for pre-school. The children of those who can afford to pay pre-school fees begin primary school with a clear advantage. There are many, though, who are not so privileged. Botswana’s high rate of HIV/AIDS has orphaned many children who are, as a result, unable to attend pre-school. With the support of private donations, however, this NGO-run pre-school enables 85 orphaned children to attend for free and enjoy such fun activities as painting curtains. Here, one such child proudly displays his artwork as well as his orange-painted toes.
Photo © 2010 Patti Koenig
Peace Corps Volunteer, Botswana–present
Botswana/Lefatshe la Botswana
Southern Africa, north of South Africa. Predominantly flat to rolling tableland, Kalahari Desert in southwest. 581,730 km2 (slightly < TX), <1% arable.
Capital Gaborone (.19M)
Population 2.1M (3.6/km2)
Life expectancy 56 years
Lang(s) Setswana 78%, Kalanga 8%, Sekgalagadi 3%, English OFFICIAL 2%, other 9%
Religions Christian 72%, Badimo 6%, other 1%, none 21%
Ethnic Groups Tswana (or Setswana) 79%, Kalanga 11%, Basarwa 3%, other including Kgalagadi 7%
Gov’t Parliamentary Republic
PCVs 1966-97, 2003-present; HIV/AIDS prevention/education. Volunteers in country: 120; total to date: 2,229.
Nat’l holiday Independence Day, 30 Sept (1966)