The Situation

Botswana is a small country, just over 2 million people, in Southern Africa landlocked between South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Botswana is often cited as one of sub-Saharan success stories due to its democratic governance and economic performance following independence in 1966. Following independence Botswana’s economy grew at an average of 9.2% per annum, one of the highest ever sustained growth rates in the world, and it went from a per capita average income of $657 per year to over $15,000 per year in 2011.
Botswana also set up various government institutions, and drastically improved its transport networks (7km of paved road at independence to 8,872 km in 2002), established telecommunication networks, developed nationwide schooling systems, increased life expectancy form 46 to 67.5 (1999), reduced infant mortality and illiteracy and much more.
In 1985 the first case of HIV was diagnosed in the country.
Botswana has been one of the most severely hit countries by the HIV/Aids epidemic.  It has the second highest infection rate in Africa with an estimated 300,000 people living with the disease, over a quarter of the population 15 and above.
Life expectancy fell from 65 years (1990-1995) to less than 40 years (2000-2005). This has had a devastating effect on the families and children of the country.
Many families are not  able to cope having lost one or both parents..  The most vulnerable are the children, some with AIDs, some simply not having sufficient nourishment, love and care given the quite desperate situation in which the parents, single mother, grandparent or uncle or aunt find themselves.
UNICEF estimates there are now over 130,000 orphans in Botswana and many more extremely vulnerable children.  There has been a strong effort by the people of Botswana, the Government and Aid agencies to stem the tide but the effects of this disease will be continue to be felt for a long time.