Let me start by acknowledging the special effort that each one of you has made to support this initiative, geared towards protecting children and improving their welfare. It is indeed an honour to have you here.
We have just launched the most powerful child protection structure in the country and as we disperse, we need to go back and think of ways to make it work. It is now clear that we all have a role to play in the facilitation of the National Children’s Council because it is a national structure that serves a population whose needs are cross cutting, multi-level and multi-dimensional.
I wish to emphasize that you all have been given the powers to fully execute your mandate, which is espoused under the Children’s Act of 2009. I also note that there are young people as well as a mix of different professions in the new Council. These should be used to the best advantage to enhance your work. I now wish to thank in a special way, my Minister, Honourable Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi for setting the tone on how this newly elected Council should operate, in the betterment of children’s wellbeing. We should remember that these are very special people with potential to take our country forward, yet more vulnerable than anyone, therefore we need to give them special attention. It must also be noted that involvement of children in formulation and implementation of legislation, policies, strategies and programmes designed for them will have a long lasting effect.
My profound appreciation is extended to the incoming members who have availed their time, skills, and expertise to the children of Botswana by acceding to the Minister’s request to serve in the Council. We will also remain indebted to the outgoing members, some of whom were the pioneers of this structure, who served very well, despite shortage of resources.
To my dearest children, who are also partners in this journey, your presence here is greatly acknowledged. I hope you have had the opportunity to interact with the stakeholders here, most of whom are direct duty bearers to you, for this is the beginning of another cycle of working together and forging greater partnerships.
I cannot forget our development partners, civil society and the media houses here present. Our deepest gratitude goes to you for your unwavering support and keeping us on track throughout our journey. Such relationships need to be nurtured to facilitate unrestricted role assumption as we advance the course for children.
I also wish to commend Government Ministries and Departments represented here for sparing this moment to share this special session with us and for choosing this event among other pressing duties. We need you to be aware of the point of reference for children’s matters and identify opportunities for closer engagement with the Council.
Lastly, let me acknowledge the efforts that went into organizing this event, specifically by the Department of Social Protection and the Public Relations Unit. The event has been a success because of your diligence, dedication and teamwork.
* CLOSING REMARKS BY THE ASSISTANT MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT , BOTLOGILE TSHIRELETSO, DURING THE LAUNCH OF THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S COUNCIL