Botswana Homeless and Poor People’s Federation is a network of poor communities who live in
urban and peri-urban areas across the country. Communities come together to form savings
schemes/groups and members save daily towards housing, land, infrastructure, basic needs and
small income generating projects. Currently active membership stands at (4441) with 131 saving
schemes present in Francistown and surrounding, Gaborone, Selibe Phikwe, Maun,
Ramomotswa, Mogobane and Tlokweng to mention a few. The majority of the members live in
low income areas and most of them are renting houses of low quality. Since the federation began
in April/May 2011 members have been able to save money for a variety of daily challenges
including school fees and uniforms, the construction of houses, flush toilets and electricity.
Central to the federation process are the following rituals and principles:
• Community based daily savings
• Community weekly meetings
• Monthly contributions to the loan fund
• Centrality of the role of women
• Community participation
• Community- to- community exchanges
• Community centred surveys
• House model exhibitions

The Trust for Community Initiatives (TFCI) is the supporting technical partner for the Botswana
Homeless and Poor People’s Federation and officially registered as a trust. The organization
offers technical support and also mobilizes funds on behalf of the federation to complement loan
finance and federation strengthening. TFCI also facilitates the interface between central
government, local authorities, external stakeholders and communities. Additionally, TFCI
provides training to communities and explores linkages with relevant organizations in terms of
funding and support.

Additional Details

  • Postal Address: P O Box 30815 Francistown, Botswana
  • A brief overview of past and current projects:Trust for community initiatives/Botswana Homeless and Poor People’s Federation Project Abstract CONTACT DETAILS Mark Batisani Cell: (+267) 74274292 Email: uzielly1@gmail.com Goitsemang B Maano Cell: (+267) 72326495 Email: goitsemaano@gmail.com P. O. Box 30815 Francistown Facebook page: Trust For Community Initiatives-TFCI Goal:  Building safe, healthy, inclusive and self-reliant communities. PROJECT START DATE: April 2011 PROJECT COMPLETION DATE: On going MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:  To contribute towards economic growth and poverty eradication  To contribute towards mindset change from dependency syndrome to selfreliance  To contribute towards building and strengthening the capacity of poor people to participate and lead in a broad scope of health and developmental activities.  To Increase and strengthen the networks of low-income people centered saving groups in Botswana. PROJECT DESCRIPTION IN BRIEF: Botswana is one of the ten countries which were classified as poor at the time of independence in 1966 and currently it is classified as a middle income country. Although the country has demonstrated steady economic growth, most Batswana, especially women are faced with socio- economic challenges such as poverty, ill health and HIV and AIDS. For a very long time, Botswana has used social welfare program to address these socio-economic challenges. However, the social welfare program, like in many other countries, has produced a dependency syndrome. It is addressing this “culture of dependency” that motivates this project. The idea is not to undermine the existing social welfare program but to support a change in mindset 2 amongst the low income people. It is envisaged that through this programme low income people will be empowered to be self-reliant and contribute towards their development. The project advocates that low income people and local authorities/government, parastatal, and private sector should form partnerships that will promote a move from crises-led interventions to gendered long term solutions, with low income people playing a leading role as visionaries and change agents in their communities. Recognizing that women are true engines of development, the project uses savings groups to develop leadership capacity, financial management skills and confidence to engage stakeholders or Partners. The project highlights the need for the poor to be able to help themselves through the rituals of daily savings, community organization, community participation to mention a few. Daily savings becomes not only about collecting money but “collecting people, ideas and organizing communities around common goal. BENEFITS REALIZED/ RESULTS:  Social structure for women (solving challenges together and providing comfort for one another).  Natural and earned skills are transferred as women are able to put together those skills to create income generating projects to make a living.  Able to save to improve livelihoods  Burial funeral cover with Kagiso funeral parlour at low price  Able to save with a retail store Trident Cash carry for food  The project takes women from isolation to participate in community development  Beneficiaries are participants and decision makers/drivers of the future they want  Organized communities that are easy to work with  Less government dependent people  Self-reliant and informed community The Federation started in Francistown in April 2011 with 6 saving schemes and to date the number of saving schemes has increased and grown beyond Francistown with a total number of 131 savings groups. Currently Federation membership stands at 4441 (majority being women). These saving schemes/groups can be traced in Francistown, North east, Serowe, Boteti, Gaborone, Ramotswa, Lobatse and Phikwe just to mention a few. These saving schemes have their accoints seating with Botswana Building Society (BBS). Savings builds strong relationships in our communities. It starts with us coming together and then taking actions to improve our surroundings. Since the inception of the project members livelihoods have been improved; • 268 women connected water • 133 women have connected electricity • 145 women changed pit latrines to water system, • 555 women have paid school fees, for children and buy school uniform). • 135 women paid SHHA loans & service levy 3 • Starting of income generating projects such as poultry and sewing (to mention a few) • Engage with health posts (clinics) to address issues of health concerning their lives. THE Following are activities done by the organization to build capacity of the community a. Know Your City Campaign (KYC) know your city campaign is a community driven data collection and house hold situational analysis. KYC is not just about data collection, sharing, and management of information. It is a participatory, pro-poor, people centered approach to urban governance. It enhances collective knowledge about undocumented issues in our localities or settlements and strengthens the capacity of urban poor communities and local authorities to plan inclusively, to enable livelihood opportunities, and to provide land, services, and shelter for the poor. Filling the knowledge gap is the first essential step towards proper development. Communities map, innumerate and profiles the settlements they live in. community members know their communities and the members of the communities, what they have and what they do not have. Community driven data collection is key to community improvement. As an organization we have done KYCC in Boikhutso location in the city of Francistown and the findings where so worry some. We are to do the KYCC in all low income areas of Francistown, Lobatse, Gaborone, Phikwe and Maun. b. Path Out of Poverty (POP) Youth saving groups are designing a program called Path Out of Poverty (POP) which will transform the youth in areas of health, education, personal development and care for the planet. Currently most youth are facing challenges of unemployment, alcoholism, crime, poor health (HIV/AIDS), unwanted pregnancies and it is very important to engage them to have a vision and come up with solutions to their challenges. c. Drug Prevention Campaign The Rotary Club of Francistown (RCF), the Federation/ Trust for Community Initiatives (TFCI) and Botswana Substance Abuse Network (BOSASNET) work on this project together with Botswana Police & Botswana Defense Force (Narcotics Unit) to provide awareness to various communities within Francistown, about the widespread availability of narcotics with the aim of launching a preventative campaign on drug abuse. The organizations try to protect the youth within various communities in Francistown from falling prey to drug use and abuse. The campaign is an on-going fourstage approach, which begun with the preliminary forum (to provide awareness about the widespread availability of narcotics). After this the organizations will launch a massive Public Relations Campaign using Billboards, Radio and TV, in order to get the message across further. Thirdly, the organizations will engage trained personnel to visit all the schools to further emphasize on the dangers of drug use and abuse; and finally, BOSASNET will be engaged to train guidance & counseling teachers and youth representatives on identifying and dealing with cases where drug abuse is suspected. 4 This will be an on-going program that we will be conducted on a yearly basis in order to reinforce the message on the dangers of drug use. Media Coverage Since the federation began their remarkable work has been covered by the media  Botswana Gazette 23-24 May 2012 title “Just P1 a day”.  Daily News January 08, 2013 No. 003 title “Mokgatho o tokafatsa matshelo”.  Daily News Thursday February 14, 2013 No. 30 page 8 title “Itekeng saving scheme eradicates poverty”.  Mmegi Friday 26 July vol 30, no. 109 title “Monarch women team up to fight poverty”.  The Midweek Sun Wednesday 21, 2013 “Self-help saving scheme gives hope to the F/town’s poor”.  SA and Zim Federations reach out to Botswana October 24, 2014  Addressing the needs of slum dwellers a priority for government of Botswana, UN Habitat September 15, 2016 In summary Federation is a holistic approach to social development and is able to take its members out of their comfort zone to improve their livelihoods. The initiative builds resilient communities in Botswana by networking them locally and internationally through an organization called SDI, which helps underprivileged communities to network world-wide (in 32 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America) to learn from each other. (Find attached pictorial evidence showing the work of the Federation and some achievements so far). Awards • Gender- Links (Economic Empowerment) 2013 Winner • Gender- Links (Women’s Rights) 2014 Runner up • Francistown District Commissioner’s award 2015 & 2016 as an organization that contribute towards building the City of Francistown. GENERAL COMMENTS: The action will build on gains and gaps identified to continue capacity building through expanding and strengthening the groups and calling for accountability within the groups. The action started with 6 saving groups in April 2011 in Francistown and the groups have since increased to 131 in Botswana. The groups would have been more than the current if the resources such as transport, office space, and allowance for mobilizing team were available to expand and strengthen the groups. The project is not a once off project implementation, but a continuous process that seek to develop human lives and can be measured through achieved activities, changed mindset of the beneficiaries and improved government approaches towards the poor and their needs on the ground. 5 As this is an ongoing project, challenges are experienced on the ground. For instance, when a new group starts and it takes a long time to visit and strengthen it, it is difficult for it to get established as the group will not have means to deal with the group dynamics. In order to deal with this issue, regular visitations are recommended until the group is capacitated and developed. The other challenge is that the team that does Federation strengthening work at ipelegeng therefore when they go to mobilize and strengthen groups their work suffers as ipelegeng is a no work no pay hence when they come back from doing this activity they struggle to put food on the table for their children. Finding/establishing Funds to do KYCC projects and office operation is one of the main challenges experienced by the organization. Office space for the project is another challenge. The project currently has a movable small office which is stationed at Supa Ngwao Museum in Francistown and has been requested to move out of the museum premises due to expected renovations by the museum and that poses a serious challenge to the operation of the project. See below some pictorial evidence of what federation members do and how they use their savings to improve livelihoods; EXAMPLES OF WHAT SAVINGS ARE USED FOR 6 (Left picture)Youth federation member saved and bought building material for the construction of her house. (Right picture) shows the room which was constructed and completed by December 2015 Right and left picture showing some of the things savings are used for. (Mma Itireleng & Baneeli Sibanda) from Itireleng saving scheme had dreams to one day own a wardrobe and a kitchen unit and their dreams have come true through their savings and they are now saving for other household amenities and other needs 7 The old woman in the picture is the late Dyna Mateisi who was a member of Popagano saving scheme. Dyna was blind and her group found it necessary to help her have a flushing toilet in her yard (left picture). She managed to put up a water system toilet through her savings and the help from her saving group (Dyna did her daily savings with the money she got from old age pension). Right picture shows a tap which a federation member (Mma Moyo) managed to put in her yard through her savings SOME OF THE INCOME GENERATING PROJECTS DONE BY FEDERATION MEMBERS Income generating projects done by Federation members (sewing) Upgrade from small business in the back yard to a bigger place 8 (Above pictures) shows products which are produced by members by putting together skills of knitting, sewing, weaving for income generation FEDERATION STRENGTHENING (GROUP MEETING, MOBILISING NEW GROUPS AND STRENGTHENING OF EXISTING ONE’S) (Left and right picture) Kgotla meetings to mobilize the community to join the Federation in Mmadinare 9 (Left and right picture) empowering the newly formed saving group/ scheme in Ramotswa to do recording (Left picture) saving group in Mmadinare and (right picture) saving group in Marobela. Depicting normal saving group meeting where members discuss challenges and share possible solutions 10 (Left picture) Selebi Phikwe and (right picture) Francistown Federation members having empowerment workshops on how they can improve their livelihoods PARTICPATING AT THE WORLD URBAN FORUM 9 Left & right picture Keletso Dambe and Goitsemang Maano sharing what they do in Botswana with participants at the world Urban forum 9. 11 KNOW YOUR CITY CAMPAIGN Left, middle and right picture) Youth carrying out the Know Your City Campaign in Somerset (Bokowe)Francistown which is about community profiling and enumeration for better planning and development. Youth are empowered to be able to use gadgets such GPS’s to map important resources in the community. (Left picture) enumerators meeting and discussing the work they do in the field (right picture) data capturing of collected information 12 DRUG PREVENTION FORUM Empowering the youth to stand against drugs
  • Board membership:Mr Montsho-Chair, Ms Goitsemang Boitshoko-Secretary, Mr Moseki Diamond-Treasure, Dr Beth Biti-Add Member, Mark Batisani-Director, Keletso Dambe-Community Leader, Masego Kgathola-Community Leader, Filder Charaka- Community Leader
  • Place of operation:Francistown, Gaborone, Ramotswa, Maun, Lobatse, Letlhane, North East, Central District, Pandamatgenga, Selebe Phikwe, Mmadinare, Bobonong
  • Legal registration of organization:not available
  • District:Francistown
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