It is often said that the greatest rewards in life are those which are bestowed on ‘the giver’ – in gratitude for doing some good. This has been the overarching experience of the team at BONEPWA (Botswana Network of People Living with HIV & AIDS). Situated in the country of Botswana in southeastern Africa, the mere act of giving is no mean feat! A vast country, with many remote regions, Botswana has experienced its own issues connected to the breakout of COVID-19.
Tourism has been a mainstream industry for a country blessed with arguably the most contrasting and unique ecosystems in the world. From the great swamps of the Okavango - to the vast plains and grasslands of its central regions, Botswana is unique in many respects. This has not gone unnoticed by adventurous tourists, who have visited this unique and still untouched great wilderness of Africa, in their thousands every year. Great migrations of wildlife - and the only inland delta that does not empty into an ocean, have created these unique swamplands - presenting an unforgettable and unique experience for tourists.
Consequently, a large number of people are employed in the tourism industry – many of whom have now joined the ranks of the unemployed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, PLHIV formed a large component.
Not only were PLHIV in the region faced with the loss of income – but also found themselves at higher risk due to their comorbidity of HIV/Aids.
BUT - FAR OUT THERE, THE PEOPLE ARE GRATEFUL!
“When I speak on behalf of the people”, said Mr. Gasekgale Moalosi, Deputy Director of BONEPWA, “ we are sincerely grateful for the support of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals and UNAIDS for their joint efforts and support in meeting the needs of PLHIV in Botswana, during the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic. But most importantly, that simply for showing - that someone cared’.