- The United States African Development Foundation has signed a grant agreement to benefit a San community group in Botswana and empower them to become competitive in the wool trade. The grantee is BORAVAST Community Resource Management Trust, which is located in an isolated part of the Kalahari Desert.
After signing the grant, USADF President Lloyd Pierson stated, “USADF strives to identity and work with the most marginalised populations in Africa to ensure a better quality of life for them. This grant is funding one of the most marginalised populations in Botswana and is designed to help the group’s members raise themselves out of poverty.”
BORAVAST is a community-based organisation composed of 1,500 San residents living in four remote villages in the Southern Kgalagadi District. Traditionally a marginalised population, the San suffer from high levels of unemployment, illiteracy, and poverty. BORAVAST improves members’ quality of life by mobilizing the community to participate in income generating activities.
According the statement issued by USADF many members of BORAVAST own small stock of sheep, but struggle to reach regional wool markets. While BORAVAST wants to work with members to help them gain access to markets, it lacks the accounting, management, and market knowledge to do so. The eighteen month grant will provide for improvements to financial systems, business and marketing training, animal husbandry supplies, and ewes and rams, USADF said.
USADF began programming in Botswana in 1985. Botswana’s current portfolio stands at twenty-two investment projects totaling more than $3 million.
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