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  • 10 March 2017
    BONELA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO CONVICT PERPETRATORS OF CHILD ABUSE   Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA) is alarmed by the increased number of child abuse and violence case being...
  • 2nd March 2017
     BONELA calls on Government to respect Sex Worker Rights                Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, (BONELA)...
  • 09 February 2017
    1.The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA); a human rights organization, dedicated to promoting, protecting and fulfilling the right...
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17th December 2015

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Press-CoveRr-3I have pleasure in presenting to you a Synopsis of Botswana Network on Ethics Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) highlights for the 2015 program cycle.

2015 was a very productive year at BONELA and we have many achievements to celebrate. We worked hard to bring closer to home our vision of ‘Making
Human Rights a Reality in Botswana. Our staff worked tirelessly around the clock to bring to the fore such amazing results for the year, thanks to the generous financial, technical support and the solidarity we received from our esteemed funding partners and stakeholders nationally, at regional and the international arena.

In summary these are some of our achievements;

1. Programmes:

a) National Presence

In 2015, BONELA increased its presence nationally by covering 5 new districts namely Kasane, Maun, Selebi-Phikwe, Lobatse and Mahalapye bringing the total national district coverage to 18 districts over 29. Furthermore, BONELA continued to serve on National Technical and Reference Working Groups and other strategic Oversight Committees that include the National AIDS Council, the Joint Oversight Committee on TB/HIV, the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) and the Partnership Forum. These platforms facilitated BONELA to continue lobbying for the relevance of a Rights Based Approach to Health and HIV Programming and the general development agenda of Botswana.

b) Awareness raising and Capacity Building

In pursuit of mainstreaming human rights across the different stakeholders and partner organisations, BONELA conducted capacity building initiatives which targeted 25 civil society organisations and government departments working in the health and HIV/AIDS. Human Rights and Health Literacy was a priority for 2015. In that regard, BONELA built a critical mass of people and organisations who are human rights defenders to be able to assert their rights, take responsibility for their health and monitor rights violations. A total of 3 394 people were reached through trainings, support group meeting and community outreaches. 3 968 sex workers and 2 348 MSM in 3 priority districts (Palapye, Francistown and Gaborone) were reached with the minimum service package for key populations which includes behavioural, bio-medical, structural, care and support interventions fulfilling the national and global obligations of an inclusive health approach and leaving no one behind.

c) Working through the BONELA Network 26 Network members have been actively involved in the delivery of services at community level. 3 of the Network members were providing services for People Living with HIV (PLWHIV), People Living with Disability and Key Populations in addressing stigma and discrimination, access to health and social service supported by the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, while 11 supported service delivery for sex workers and MSM supported through grants from the International AIDS Alliance and Management Science for Health (MSH).

2 organisations anchored our Child Rights flagship projects which are driving ethos of child protection, child development, survival and child participation
under Save the Children International (SCI) and UNICEF support. A Botswana Child Rights Coalition with 17 members who are child service organisation has been established to monitor implementation of policies and legislation in relation to children. In order to promote access to justice, health and social
services, 12 organisations facilitated for BONELA to reach the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-diverse and Intersex communities as well the general public
through civic education on human rights, legal literacy as well as documentation of rights violations with support from the European Union (EU),
United States Embassy and COC Netherlands.

2. Finance and Resource Mobilisation:

a) Audits and Reviews

Compliant to international accounting requirements and donor obligations, the following project specific audits were successfully completed unqualified in
2015: FELM, Aids Fonds, Save the children, COC and UNFPA.

b) Funding

Amid dwindling donor support as a result of Botswana‘s classification as an Upper Middle Income Country, BONELA expanded and diversified its funder
portfolio in 2015 in order to build a sustainable finance resource base. In this program year, we were able to attract new funding streams from EU, MSH,
HIVOS – The Didiri Project, UNICEF, OSF, OSISA CGI, AIDS Fonds, AIDS Fonds, ITPC, ACHAP- Aquity, ACHAP- Global Fund and Family Health International (FHI).The 2015 program cycle managed to retain some of our traditional funders that include, The Alliance, Save the Children International, COC Netherlands, ARASA, SOAIDS, FELM and UNFPA.

Through this funding pool, we have been able to sub-grant a total of BWP805,300 against the 627,000 of 2014 to our Network and implementing partners
who have continued to monitor rights violations at community level while increasing demand for legal and health services.

c) Resource Mobilization Plan

A Resource Mobilisation Plan was developed as a blue print for guiding resource mobilisation efforts for the next 3 years (2016 – 2019). In addition, BONELA facilitated the Business Options Assessments to guide operationalisation of the Business Arm and Investment Case to complement donor aid towards building a more sustainable BONELA program.

3. Advocacy and Legal Aid:

a) Campaigns

Aligning to international recognition of Human Rights, the family as support systems in effective Sexual and Reproductive Choices, Child protection and
Development, BONELA spearheaded 5 international commemorations across the country. These were the International Women’s Day in March, International Families Day in May, the day of the African Child in June, 16 days of Activism Against Violence on Women and Children and the International Human Rights Day on December 10. Drawing from lessons learnt throughout the year in the different projects, BONELA developed a position paper “Mitigating Human Rights Barriers to Accessing Health and Social Care services in Botswana” which was delivered to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic and Socio-Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

The position paper calls on the Government of Botswana to expeditiously sign, ratify and domesticate the ICESCR which limits access to health as the right to health is not guaranteed by the Botswana constitution.

b) Media Engagement

Recognizing the media as a powerful advocacy tool, BONELA continued to utilize the media space in 2015 through print and electronic media by flighting
jingles and adverts, conducting interviews and holding press briefings on human rights and health.

c) Strategic Litigation

BONELA with support from the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC), successfully sustained the judgment at the Court of Appeal previously made by
the Botswana High Court in 2014 to provide foreign inmates access to life saving antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). This case, has contributed significantly to highlighting the urgent need to address structural barriers particularly for vulnerable and marginalized populations towards ending AIDS by 2030.

d) Legal Aid Case trend analysis

Throughout 2015, 170 cases were registered in the BONELA Legal AID data base ranging from cases of unlawful disclosure of health status, , unlawful arrest and detention (SW and MSM), Gender Based Violence (violence/ assault, sexual abuse of minors and rape), Child custody and adoption, inheritance, maintenance and child neglect. The increase in the number of cases reported to BONELA is demonstrative of the effectiveness and impact of our Human rights and Legal awareness and education initiatives.

4. Strategic Direction, Governance and Organisational Development:

In reviewing BONELA’s Strategic plan: 2012-2016 as well as considering the organisation’s functioning in general, a rapid review of the organisation was
conducted in July 2015 to offer a concise summary of the most important realities, challenges, opportunities and questions facing the organisation going
forward. The rapid review has made recommendations that have informed the ongoing development of the 2017 – 2020 strategy as well as the organizational Change Management Plan for increased program impact, governance, staff development and retention. In addition BONELA successfully managed to be fully accredited as a Linking Organisation of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (IHAA).

The relevance of our work was recognised nationally when BONELA was nominated and won its first in-country Award – The MISA Award in November
2015 in the category of Free Expression. We are exceptionally proud of this accolade. While we acknowledge these achievements, we are also aware of the fact that there is still much work to be done, and BONELA will continue to promote, protect and fulfil human rights for all, in alignment and in pursuit of our mission of creating an enabling environment for the most vulnerable and undeserved communities in Botswana.

On behalf of the BONELA Board, Management and staff, we take this opportunity to thank you all our funders, members, and stakeholders for believing in our work and your commitment to partner with us in making a real difference in the lives of marginalised, vulnerable and most at risk populations in Botswana. BONELA wishes you a Merry Christmas and Prosperous 2016. Kindly note that our offices will be official closed for the festive break from the 17th of December 2015 and re-opens on the 6th of January 2016.

For more information:
Cindy Kelemi on +267 393 2516 (o); +267 72385054 (m); This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or
Felistus Motimedi on +267 393 2516 (o); +267 73652185 (m); This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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