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A primary tenet of the Botswana National strategy to combat the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is disease prevention. The goal is to realize an HIV free generation by the year 2016. The goal will only be realized through a comprehensive approach to reaching the nation’s youth. Education, community and economic development are foundation elements of this strategy. Providing an opportunity for an educational and social “head start” for the children of a Botswanan village is the specific objective of this project.
The demand for pre-school (pre standard one) education and day care are evident in the village (a market study is currently under way). The child-development benefits attributed to pre-schooling are known world wide and measured in individual performance throughout a person’s lifetime. The measures include: increased self-confidence, higher academic performance, greater workplace productivity resulting in increased opportunity within the local and national economy. All of these indicators are supportive of the positive attributes necessary if behavior change is to be realized in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the village level.
The village would like to have a dream fulfilled with the completion of a community school that would serve a population in need. The proposed facility will provide both Day Care and Education and targets Pre-School youth in the 2.5 to 5.5 - 6 year age group. A truly unique feature of this facility will be its plan for sustainability. The School is being built on the premise that dependence on government funding and entitlements will be minimal if at all. The business plan calls for significant investment by the stakeholders in the community, public financing through a government sponsored program (CEDA), and over ½ the total cost of the project already funded by the owner/operators. Support from the Peace Corps Partnership Fund will complete the funding package and allow this vital project to move toward realization.
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