Child labor in Botswana
There are children in Botswana who have to work. In Botswana, every tenth child between the ages of five and 14 works. There are still too many. You work in agriculture or as a domestic worker. Or they sell groceries on the street to add a little to the family’s income.
And if the parents died, as is so often the case from AIDS, they have to provide for the entire family income. The children are usually completely overwhelmed by this. Prostitution is also an issue in Botswana. Botswana’s law stipulates that children under the age of 15 are not allowed to work at all and dangerous work can only be done from the age of 18. But these laws are not always observed and monitored.
What if you get sick in Botswana?
For a long time in Botswana, traditional healers took on the important task of making sick people healthy again. However, this did not always work. Medical care is now free in Botswana. But since the country is large and many people live very far apart, medical care is not easy. That is why mobile hospital wards are often used. Nurses and doctors use these stations to travel all over the country and reach many people.
There are also health centers and hospitals, especially in the cities of the country. That sounds very good at first and is already better than many other African countries. Yet many people share a doctor or nurse and there are too many sick people in the country. Diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis are particularly common and place a burden on the health system.
AIDS in Botswana
The disease AIDS is widespread in Botswana. Almost every fourth person carries the virus. The AIDS rate only declined through education. Many children are also affected by the disease. As AIDS orphans, but also as infected. But many people suppress the disease because they are afraid of being excluded. In Botswana, free medicines are distributed to infected people.
Botswana is a role model in Africa in the fight against AIDS. There are many AIDS projects. Many volunteers support the infected people. Food and medicine are distributed to children. In addition to the state, there are also business people who donate for AIDS sufferers. The rate has fallen, especially with babies, because medication can reduce the risk of babies being infected by their AIDS-infected mother when they are born. There is a program against mother-child infection that has been very successful in Botswana.
Often, after the death of the parents, the grandparents have to look after the children or the rest of the family that has survived. Many are overwhelmed with that. The children can only be supported by international aid organizations. There are 100,000 orphans in the country and many of them are AIDS orphans, i.e. children who have lost their parents to AIDS. The need for medical treatment is great. As in many southern African countries, the life expectancy of the people in Botswana has decreased.
AIDS orphans in Botswana
Children without parents often have to take responsibility for their younger siblings. Often they no longer go to school and take care of the family instead of the deceased parents. With luck, there are still grandparents who can step in, but they are often affected or overwhelmed by the task. This is how the children work, do not go to school and receive no education. Often they cannot afford to attend secondary school. But AIDS can only be combated through education and information. So the likelihood that they will catch AIDS again is very high.
A language made of clicks?
Setswana is the name of the language that most of the people in Botswana speak. 70 out of 100 people understand this language. But the official language in the country is English, which almost everyone understands and can largely write and read. There are also (besides Setswana) other Bantu languages spoken by the other Bantu peoples in the country.
The San speak a different language. It contains clicks. Such languages are also called click languages or Khoisan languages. That sounds fun and is not easy to learn at all. Clicks with the tongue are typical for this language. This click language is spoken not only in Botswana, but also in some other South African countries. The click languages are one of the languages threatened with extinction. It is important to preserve these languages because they can tell a lot about life on earth.
By the way, there is a film that is older, but tells a lot about the life of the Bushmen: “The gods must be crazy”. Here you can also hear the click language again and again. Just ask your parents, the nearest library should have this film too.