"The center will be a place for joy where the orphans will be cared for with love and compassion."

His Excellency President Festus Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana, officially opened the first Women’s Ministries (WM) care center for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Maun, Botswana. The center, called “Place of Joy,” was built by the WM Department and is a safe place for children to be nurtured, cared for, and loved. President Mogae expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the WM department for taking the initiative in building the center.

President Mogae plants
a tree in remembrance
of all the children.

The challenge was for everyone to get involved in doing something for the less fortunate and to find innovative ways to reach out to help alleviate the burdens placed on all by the HIV/AIDS disease.

The President also planted a tree in remembrance of all the children. Because of his concern for AIDS orphans, he started a trust called “Masiela Trust” (masiela means "orphan" in Setswana); this trust provides funding for needs of orphans and vulnerable children.

In response, Susan Williams, Botswana Union WM director thanked the trust for providing them with P645 000.00 (around $98,000 United States dollars) towards the building costs and President Mogae for initiating the trust. She also thanked the community for their contribution in helping to finish the project. A special thanks went to the district co-coordinator Mrs. Wellio and the local pastor, Pastor Senase.

Williams shared the WM vision in which the “Place of Joy” is the first—but not the last. The center will be a place where the orphans will be cared for with love and compassion. The WM Department hopes to build centers in a number of villages in Botswana. This year two more centers will be opened in Botswana built by two “Fly and Build” teams from Australia.

Mrs. Wellio, President Mogae,
and Mrs. Susan Williams

Pastor Machmire, President of Botswana Union, shared a spiritual message with everyone present at the opening, and expressed his utter joy at the opening of the center.

—Caroline Chola, SID WM director


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