This programme was established formally in 2004 in order to carry out the aims of the Mission through the provision of services that would address the social welfare and community needs of disadvantaged children, youth and their families at large. The end goal of the programme is to support and enable those in need so that they might move from crisis to self-sufficiency.
At times in Botswana, like in most countries, there are circumstances that can lead women to abandon or neglect their babies. Since 2009, the Mission has provided a stable and loving refuge for infants and children in crisis through its Lorato House Rescue Centre. Specifically targeting children from newborn to three years old, most of the young ones who come have been orphaned, abandoned, or left to die. The Northwest and Okavango Districts of Botswana have among the highest levels of orphaned children and children affected by HIV/AIDS in the country. The children are cared for in a safe and nurturing environment reflective of cultural values, and provided 24-hour care, clothing, nutritious food, medical attention, and developmentally appropriate activities. In partnership with local government and social services, Lorato House facilitates the children's timely transition into supportive, family-based care situations—either reunited with their extended family or introduced into a new, loving home within Botswana. Once a child is placed with a family or returns home, the staff at Lorato House extends services to the family through counseling, psychological support, and training on health and nutrition issues. Referrals are made within the community’s social services network that provide families with access to food assistance, health services, parenting classes and income-generating programs.
The Support a Child Programme assists disadvantaged children who have been referred by community agencies or the Social Services Department of the government as being in ongoing need. This need might be in the area of schooling, crisis intervention and case management, family management, food, clothing and other. Case management support is ongoing throughout the sponsorship period and includes support of the extended family of the child. These children are sponsored financially by individual families and individuals who want the opportunity to provide financial on a one-on-one basis those in need.
The Support a Family programme assists disadvantaged individuals in the community through ongoing case management support on a longer term basis. Assistance includes counseling, skills training, community referrals and assistance with basic life needs such as food, clothing, minor home repair, etc. These families might also be the families of children who were formerly sponsored through the Support a Child Programme. It provides a seamless transition for families and children in order to facilitate the empowerment of the family as it moves toward self-sufficiency. Families and individuals sponsor these families on an ongoing basis, usually with a year-to-year commitment depending on the identified needs and the desires of the donor family.