SEVEN years ago Love Botswana Outreach Mission launched Maatla a Basadi, an economic empowerment project that soon expanded to men and women, thus dropping the Basadi.
Currently The Programme has three projects:A garden project which grows vegetables and sells to the community, a goat project which provides meat to those in need during funerals, for instance and a knitting and felting project, which is the most developed with 10 women regularly creating works of art.
“With this programme we also want to teach Batswana sophisticated methods of farming,” says Chief Programmes Offi cer, Pastor Gary Peloshweu, who also holds a Social work degree.
Sale Items from the knitting and felting project include trendy shawls, fl ower pins, scarves, beanies, cell phone holders, and more.
“The main objective is to combat unemployment and dependency syndrome.
Maatla addresses the Vision 2016 pillar number 2 that foresees Botswana as a prosperous, productive and innovative nation.
” Pelotshweu said. Giving a testimonial of how Maatla has helped her and her family, a benefi ciary of the project said: “I am thankful for the Programmes of the Love Botswana Mission and how they have helped my family.
The Friday night youth Programme, Fire by Night; the Reach 4 Life club in the Junior school where my children attend.
They have paid my young children’s school fees in private preschools and helped with their needs.
I am learning a craft where I can be able to support myself. I am so grateful for all they have done for me”.
The Programme has been awarded fi rst place in Textiles at the women’s expo in Gaborone in 2010 and participated in various events in the country.
The groups spokesperson said “The challenge we have is for exposure in the country.
We are mostly selling our products in the local shops and at events like the woman’s expo.
Items are being marketed on a small scale overseas, but more exposure is needed there also.
Puso, a Senior Gender Officer at Women’s Affairs Department in Maun, addressed the group and encouraged the women to diversify and make good use of services which his department offers.
It is clear that the Women’s affairs department is in strong support of these types of initiatives.
The Economic Empowerment division of Women against Rape has joined forces with Maatla to work together to provide even more products and strengthen the marketing capacity of both departments.
The most exciting part of the launch was the beautiful, new conference room that the members will be using.
“Now more centrally located, this is just one of many Programmes that will be off ered through the new Life Centre.” says Pelotshweu.
Women of all ages who want to learn a skill, at no charge to them, are welcome to join the group by contacting Love Botswana @ 686- 0795 and ask for Economy, a social worker at Love Botswana.