European Union External Action

EU Delegation launches two new civil society projects to support victims of domestic violence and defend the rights of vulnerable groups in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gaborone, 17/09/2020 - 16:57, UNIQUE ID: 200917_12
Press releases

The Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC has signed two projects worth BWP 5.7 million with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to support victims of gender-based and domestic violence and defend the rights of marginalised groups.

Gaborone, 17 September 2020

EU Delegation launches two new civil society projects to support victims of
domestic violence and defend the rights of vulnerable groups in the wake of the
COVID-19 pandemic.

The Delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC has signed two projects worth BWP 5.7
million with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to support victims of gender-based and domestic violence
and defend the rights of marginalised groups.

According to the 2018 National Relationship Study, one in three women in Botswana has experienced
abuse in their lifetime. The World Population Review (2019) places Botswana in an unenviable second
position on rape cases at 92.9 per 100 000 citizens. This GBV crisis has been exacerbated by the current
pandemic due to the lockdown and other restrictions.

One of the projects signed today will address these challenges by supporting hotlines, as well as by
providing shelter and counselling to GBV survivors. The other project will address the needs of the most
vulnerable groups, like stranded migrants, indigenous people or inmates who have been equally
impacted by the pandemic.

The two grants, funded under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), will
finance projects to be implemented by DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights – and
the Botswana Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre (BGBVC).
The BGBVC project will enable BGBVC to address the escalating problem of domestic violence in
Botswana by providing community care services to GBV victims, provision of clinical services,
counselling, temporary and emergency shelter and a well-functioning referral system for legal and social

Lorato Moalusi, Director of the Botswana Gender Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre noted:
“Before the pandemic, the organisation used to see a maximum of 50-60 clients per month. In
comparison, the reported numbers have doubled during the lockdown. The new project will go a long
way in enhancing our capacity to respond to this new emergency”

The DITSHWANELO action aims at supporting human rights defenders and vulnerable groups in
Botswana during the COVID-19 crisis by providing legal, medical and psycho-social support to vulnerable
groups like persons in places of detention, refugees, undocumented migrants and indigenous peoples.
Without access to information and human rights awareness, access to justice and legal redress, these
vulnerable groups will be particularly affected.

In addition, the project will allow for increased CSO participation in the monitoring of human rights
abuses and delivering of services, and calls for multi-sector coordination between civil society and
authorities to promote human rights protection during and after the State of Emergency.

Alice Mogwe, Director of DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, added: ''Resilient
human rights defenders with improved advocacy capacity will act as monitoring organisations and
individuals during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. We thank the EU for the support provided which
will contribute towards the strengthening of a culture, in and amongst civil society organisations and in
government institutions, of protecting and promoting human rights''.

Maungo Mooki – Chairperson Tripartite Engagement & Collaboration on COVID 19. ''We cannot thank
the EU enough for its prompt support to the Botswana Government at the early stages of the COVID-19
outbreak, enabling the country to respond timely to the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional support of
P5.7m to the two CSOs, BGBVC and DITSHWANELO, will go a long way in touching positively the lives of
the most vulnerable in our society, and for that we are thankful to the EU''.

The EU Ambassador, HE Jan SADEK, concluded: “We are committed to stand by Botswana in the fight
against the Pandemic. We are proud partners of civil society organisations, like DITSHWANELO and the
BGBVC, in addressing the needs and defending the rights of the most vulnerable layers of the

The two new grants are part of a larger package implemented by the EU and it's Member States
(@Team Europe) in supporting the Government of Botswana’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information please contact:
For the EU:
Bester Gabotlale, Press & Information Officer
+267 721 12660,
Twitter: @JanSadek

Andrew Matayataya, Administrator
+267 3906998/74728564/74956913
Twitter: @ditshwaneloBHCR
Facebook: Ditshwanelo

Reggie B. Moatshe, Programmes Associate
+267 74956822
Twitter: @SocietyKagisano
Facebook: Botswana Gender Based Violence Prevention and Support Centre

About the EU COVID-19 Response
The EU and its Member States– @TeamEurope – are at the center of a global effort to support national
health systems, protect and save lives, and counter the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. The EU
has pledged EUR 35.6 billion for a global response package, out of which EUR 4.9 billion will be devoted
to support in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Team Europe supports the universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines stressing that a vaccine is a
universal common good. The EU has pledged EUR 300 million to GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance), a 50%
increase on the previous EU contribution. In addition, the EU led a global pledge on 4th of May 2020
which raised EUR 9.8 billion to develop fast and universal access to vaccines, diagnostics and
therapeutics against COVID-19.
In Botswana, the EU is currently redirecting and expanding its cooperation portfolio, focusing on
supporting the country’s response to COVID-19. The EU has already disbursed BWP 27 million to the
treasury of Botswana to provide quick economic relief, donated BWP 1.6 million in PPEs and medical
supplies to the Ministry of Health and provided BWP 5.7 million in grants to support the victims of
domestic violence and defend the rights of marginalized groups. Moreover, the EU has allocated BWP 27
million to support the beef and tourism value chains, as part of the economic recovery after the
immediate crisis. The EU’s ongoing cooperation portfolio of BWP 324 million, will continue, focusing on
skills development and support to the economic diversification drive. This will be more important than
ever, when Botswana moves into the recovery phase after the immediate crisis. On the economic side,
the EU has committed BWP 145 million to promote investments, trade and the economic recovery in
Botswana. Among the short-term actions, the EU will provide grants for the development of the beef
value chain in the North (BWP 6.6 million) and for the eco-tourism development (BWP 19 million).
About the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).
The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a self-standing financial
instrument of the EU that aims to contribute to the development and consolidation of democracy, the
Rule of Law, and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide. The EIDHR is
designed to help civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defense of human
rights. The EU is fully committed to supporting the work of the Human Rights Council of the United
Nations and the implementation of the agreed recommendations in the Universal Periodic Review.
The EIDHR programme was first launched in 2013 in Botswana bringing to-date its overall total to about
BWP 25 million. Actions supported include Civic Education, GBV, LGBTI, Disability, Minority /Indigenous
people's rights and Child Protection.

DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights was, established in 1993 and since then has
remained the only organisation in Botswana dealing with varied aspects of human rights. Their strategic
focal areas are access to justice, regional solidarity and awareness-raising and accountability.
DITSHWANELO works in partnership with other rights-focused organisations, such as those focusing on
gender equality, sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), freedom of expression and information,
children and youth, and indigenous peoples. Complementing the work of our partners, we focus on
issues least supported by others, including migrant workers (ex-Botswana miners who worked in
apartheid-era gold mines) and domestic workers. Other activities include campaigns on issues such as
abolition of the death penalty in Botswana, bullying and the development and rights issues related to
the relocation of the Basarwa / San from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

About BGBVC:
The Botswana GBV Prevention and Support Centre (BGBVC) is a non-profit organisation founded in 1998
by Kagisano Society, with the aim of preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence (GBV) in
Botswana. Its mission is to support women, men, girls and boys experiencing and affected by GBV in
Botswana by providing temporary and emergency shelter, counselling, clinical and legal services,
community outreach and education, and staff and volunteer development as well as conducting
BGBVC will continue to provide shelter to women and children who are in imminent danger as a result
of gender based violence. The organisation is not only responsive to issues of survivors of GBV, but is
also vigorously involved in enlightening communities on how to identify, prevent and respond to GBV
with the ultimate aim of creating a society that is free from gender based violence.

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