Spreading democracy, tackling AIDs, Zimbabwe, economic development and blood diamonds were all issues covered by Matthew and a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association on a visit to Botswana.
At the request of the speaker of the Botswana Parliament, the delegation started the process to draft a long-term plan to introduce greater scrutiny of MPs in the African country. This involved holding a seminar with Botswanan MPs on the committee system, Private Members’ Bills, reform of public finances from the parliamentary viewpoint, and modernisation of the Parliamentary process.
The four day trip covered a huge range of issues and included Matthew visiting the SOS Botswana Children’s Tlokweng Village near Gaborone. This is a project that cares for 245 children and youths who have been orphaned, are destitute, or abandoned. The aim is to develop these children into responsible and independent adults who will have the inner strength to cope with the challenges of the future.
Matthew said, “The Tlokweng Village is an inspirational project that helps improve the life chances of hundreds of young people. There are currently seven children attending university, including a fifth-year dental student and a young lady who has graduated with a B.Sc. Moreover, the school has an additional seven children who have won scholarships to Maru-a-Pula School, a local private school. This is a project that is really achieving its aim.”
Matthew pictured with the children at lunchtime.