Botswana’s population has experienced significant change due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Families are still struggling from the losses felt from the pandemic. Many children have been orphaned or had to join extended family or friends for financial security and care. SPAR Botswana, alongside a group of retired nurses operating through a local church, recognised a post-Covid need for assistance for children in many of the impoverished areas around the capital city Gaborone.
SPAR stores in the region have partnered with the local community to set up weekly soup kitchens, operating every Wednesday across two areas. In these areas, children often are minded by their older siblings, grandparents or simply left on their own while parents or carers are at work until late in the evenings. On average, the soup kitchens feed about 100 children between the ages of 4 and 15 this way. They also partner with the same groups to assist with holiday camps providing meals for these children. In this way, the children have somewhere safe to go every day during the holidays where they can be looked after and have a warm meal. SPAR Botswana’s goal is to get more and more suppliers involved in the future to help expand this project to operate more than just once a week.
Alongside the weekly soup kitchens, SPAR Botswana also operates a monthly “fun run” as part of its monthly SPAR Community Challenge Series. The run has been ongoing since 2021, with all registration proceeds going towards the Ghamadubu Childrens Home outside the town of Molepolole. The home houses 54 children, who have been impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, on a full-time basis and assists them with their immediate needs through these Challenge Series proceeds. A group of amazing women run this home, dedicating their lives to the care of these children and ensuring a bright future for them.
With the increased interest in the fun runs, SPAR Botswana hopes to form a long-term commitment to the home. Thanks to the fun run proceeds, last year they were able to get every child a new school bag and stationery, as well as individual Christmas presents and clothes. With this year’s proceeds, some of the goals are to refurbish their school bus, and to do some extensions on their building.
The runs this year are organized by three SPAR stores – SPAR Airport Junction, SPAR The Fields Mall, and SPAR Gaborone, with last month’s run drawing 250 participants.
Source: SPAR Botswana
Read more about SPAR in Botswana
The licence to operate SPAR in Botswana was granted to the SPAR Group Ltd Southern Africa in 2004 by SPAR International. The key focus in Botswana is on the delivery of excellent customer service, with instore bakeries, delicatessen, butchery, and fresh produce departments playing an important role.