July Hero – Thulaganyo Chirwah Mahloko

Thulaganyo Chirwah Mahloko

Mr. Thulaganyo Chirwah Mahloko is a passionate activist for children and youth rights, describing his work as “not a job, but my passion and my duty towards the world.” Chirwah’s efforts to seek justice and healing for children in cases of sexual abuse, neglect and family disputes have led him to conclude that “our rights are not guaranteed, they only exist to the extent we will stand up for them.” Following his role at BONELA leading human rights, health, and gender advocacy trainings and campaigns from 2007-2014, Chirwah joined Stepping Stones International as the Child Protection Coordinator and Human Rights Advisor and remains a regional health and human rights trainer for AIDS Rights.

He hosts a weekly radio show on RB2 which examines issues around child abuse and neglect. Though there is much work still to do, Chirwah has seen successes, including the Boteti Sub District’s improvements to the Basarwa community’s access to healthcare services, and the Gaining Traction by Action campaign in 2015, garnering 20,300 signatures on a petition to strengthen child protection services. Despite having catalyzed responses from Botswana’s highest offices, Chirwah maintains his most important role is “to believe the accounts told by abused children without judgment, and be someone who cares and understands how they feel.”