Hi Everyone,

I'm posting this for Warona in the Group journal. Here's the link to the original (http://www.worldpulse.com/node/33386)

Hello everyone,as like all the sisters i would like your support here is my draft lets work on it together,i will apprecite corrections and comments.

I am pressed but not crushed, though this pain is ceaselessly aiming my heart, though the road seems to be rough, I believe this wilderness is never meant to kill me but to elevate me. The pain of every woman in my community is my pain. I told myself I’ve got to suffer these things. Many times I fail to understand why on earth these people will have to go through this. I try to confront this challenge that pains and agonize my community life seems to be unbearable. I lived in this community ever since I was born though I had to be out sometimes to other places – but I have seen all about my community. The noise from the cars, noise from bars and drunkards, noise from depots, noise from shebeens all explains the exuberance of people in my community. They drink like tomorrow they will be no more. My community is male dominated. There is Botswana defense force camp, Police camp but with women police, prisons camp as well with women. The highest industry is the BCL Copper Nickel Mine. All different men are here, well paid but some of them are illiterate. Since these people are well paid money is not an issue to them. It is a painful experience as I have learned that these well paid, they have luxurious cars and life is very enjoyable .To the very girls who have matriculated as soon as they throw away their pen, it seems it is a gate pass to living recklessly, though I have heard of other girls who already have passed all these adult stages. They embark on drinking beer and smoking socializing too much forgetting even what they promised themselves in life. These girls are the victims of rape, early pregnancy and as well infection plays its part. Soon the very girl who was so beautiful will be like an old lady, looking more like a beggar on the streets. These girls also tend to swallow before they chew and thus they get choked with the thorns of life leaving them helpless and poverty stricken.

Ever since the breakdown of this disease life has never been the same. Three people walking in front of you, all you must know is that out of them two is infected if not all of them. Before then when drugs were not brought, really this small town was faced with extinction. The disease destroyed so many lives. As a result of this disease the government is busy feeding and taking orphans to the schools. The disease dealt well with both men and women it not a respecter of any person as long as you live recklessly you will encounter a trauma of this monster. Life has been has been a living hell once people discover your status, discrimination commences, losing of friends and so many things are being done to oppress your soul. And in most cases the victims once they discover that they resort to hanging themselves or drink poisonous substances. But with the help of life saving ARV DRUGS most people have won back their confidence, strength and beauty.

However Selibe – Phikwe my copper nickel mining town remains the highest Hiv prevalence rate in Botswana. At 40% highest among women and 21.4% among men. Selibe- Phikwe is also rated number one in the countrywhen it comes to people on ARV and prevention of Mother To Child Transmission ( PMTCT).The Selibe – Phikwe District Coordinator , Mr Lameck Myengwa said a lot is to be done to understand factors contributing to spiraling infections. There is a need for the town in the district to undertake serious research on this issue .He further said he thinks the study will help confront this problem and that he understands the community has been funded to conduct a study/ research. Really without knowing why Selibe – Phikwe is the hardest hit I take it that , I may reverse my mind to think of the behavior and practices that my community embark on. I tell you there is nothing I could be blaming our government with, the government has done its part and it is continuing to protect and give Batswana good health. It’s only that it’s a generation of people who wants to go to hell. They seem to do not know the purpose of their existence on planet earth. So much have been done to combat the disease but still the stiff necked people will ignore the advice and swim in a poisonous virus. I mean it is always difficult to come up with effective interventions. At the clinics all have been done to avoid this disease but since the behavior does not change the monster still rests among men and women including their children.

In 2009, the town Mayor was restless as a way of combating the disease he tirelessly approached every church in different places in town, appealing to them to help with how they can get rid of HIV/AIDS. In fact his speech was more like a cry, his tears were not rolling down but I could see and feel them. Then the church vowed to tackle the scourge that has hit the mining town. Selibe Phikwe Churches Committee Coordinator, Pastor Teemane said in an interview that the only way to win the battle against the scourge is to change the people’s behavior. According to him they have set one month aside for prayers. He further mentioned that that they are aware of the fact that this town is leading when it comes to the HIV/AIDS infection across the country.

The behavior of people is so annoying. You will be annoyed and come back to their aid again. All methods have been tried .One preacher said Batswana are promiscuous people. It’s like a generation of people who have been dedicated to the sin of immorality. Alcohol abuse also plays a major role in the spread of the disease as once drunk most people become careless. The president has seen to it that prices for the beer are increased but still the more people will be hungry and thirsty for beer. He instructed time for opening but as soon as the bars are open the game starts. As for the outcome after hours of drinking I really can’t tell, it soars the heart. I have seen men praise beer, telling how their ancestors brewed, some spill it on the roads, hey it is really so disgusting. Well another person would criticize me with how I look at this. Its not about beer drinking but its about the irresponsibility of people. Posters have been erected to stop and reduce alcohol uptake as well HIV/AIDS bill boards, but no one gives heed to all these. Instead they will make fun of them.

Although Botswana‘s economic outlook remains strong the devastation that Aids has caused threatens to destroy the country’s future. For instance in 2001, Botswana had highest rate of Hiv and Aids infection in the world 350,000 of its 1.6 million people .Can anyone imagine what is all this, would you not say really we are faced with distinction. Thank God our then President ,President Mogae appealed to the International community, because of him the International Donors launched an ambitious National Campaign that free Antiviral drugs to be given to all sick people in this country.

It is of great concern in my live, that I believe I can do all things, regardless. There is still a way out. Batswana must make their wellness their wealth. If this thing continues like this we are doomed, but I have a message. To all mothers in my country we need to arise. We can start with our homes to deal with our young ones to be genuine mothers of tomorrow because women and children are the answer in every society. I wont tolerate a situation whereby I raise up a child the next thing she is all over me. Mothers we need to empower them. Therefore instead of criticizing our societies and fellow men, let us do what is good to change the bad we see. Let us walk in the light of love. We should be known for our love irrespective of religion, ethnicity or geographical location. Love that sees beyond Hiv/Aids infected! Love that sees beyond hatred even when we are hated, we should love. Love that sees beyond intimidation even when we are intimidated, love that sees beyond persecution. I wish to be my brother‘s keeper, not my brother destroyer. Nothing happens for nothing, nothing happens by chance. In the course of my living I have seen those who succeed and those who chose to fail, so life is all about choice. I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread. Today I choose to support my community; they are my pain for some of them are hopeless for this world is full of toils and snares they do not know what the meaning of life is. Sin and confusion has taken control. The Virus has grieved them so much, they are bound and left to suffer the torture of this disease.

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Warona, I didn't realize the problem of HIV/AIDS is this serious in your country! It's really great that we can openly speak up for the whole of humanity to hear. And, wow, you did it! You found a way to solve the problem from the help of the international community! Here in the Philippines we also have cases of HIV/AIDS, but not as alarming as in your country! It's right that the whole world talks about this problem - because, although the problem varies in degree across the globe, HIV/AIDS is a serious problem and it has got to be stopped! Thanks for sharing, sister .... all the best...

Always, Emie Zozobrado