Deputy Chief of Mission Kali C. Jones travelled to Shakawe October 21 and 22 to engage with community leadership and local NGOs on gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, cultural heritage, and border security.
While in Shakawe, Ms. Jones met with representatives from the Botswana Police Service, the Deputy District Commissioner, and Kgosi Mbambo to learn about the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Shakawe and the surrounding areas. Ms. Jones took the opportunity to learn how local authorities are addressing gender-based violence and child defilement.
Additionally, she met with local non-governmental organizations, The Trust for Okavango Cultural and Development Initiatives (TOCaDI) and Pababelo Trust, to learn about their community development and women’s economic empowerment initiatives. During her visit to Pababelo Trust, Ms. Jones learned about a U.S. Embassy-funded community farming project to teach 50 women gardening techniques. Through the program, the beneficiaries were able to increase their overall productivity and generate additional income.
Ms. Jones had the opportunity to visit Tsodilo Hills, which was the first beneficiary of the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in Botswana. In 2001, the U.S. government partnered with the Department of National Museums and Monuments on a $27,000 USD training program focused on the preservation of ancient rock art sites. The joint effort helped document and preserve the site to ensure it remained an important tourist site and source of income for the local community. The AFCP program demonstrates American leadership in protecting and preserving cultural heritage around the world.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office at 373-2419 or PASGaborone@state.gov.