Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe on the Occasion of the Hand-Over of a Minibus Donated To The Central Association For The Blind And Disabled

source: Republic of Botswana (26/11/08): TAUTONA TIMES no 39 of 2008
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President "Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"

B1) 25/11/08: Remarks by the Acting President of the Republic of Botswana Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe, MP on the Occasion of the Hand-Over of a Minibus Donated To The Central Association For The Blind And Disabled By Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Trust Fund, Mahalapye

[Salutations]...Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

1. When I was officiating at an occasion similar to this one a week ago in Goodhope, at which I was receiving a donation of P70,000.00 (seventy thousand pula) from Sefalana Cash and Carry on behalf of Masiela Trust Fund, I emphasized that there can never be enough or too many of these kind of ceremonies. I am therefore very delighted to be here with you to bear witness to yet another act of generosity and compassion by our business community.

2. The donation of this minibus by Botswana Insurance Holdings
Limited (BIHL) Trust Fund to the Central Association for the Blind and Disabled (CABD) is not just an early Christmas gift but a good addition that will go a long way towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of this organization. It goes without saying that the work of the Central Association for the Blind and Disabled which was founded in 1981 to, among others, create income generating opportunities for the disabled, will benefit greatly from the vehicle being donated today. The minibus will no doubt facilitate access to the areas in and around Mahalapye that will be serviced by the new Rehabilitation Unit which I am informed is being completed as part of this Centre.

3. The Central Association for the Blind and Disabled needs to be
commended for doing what is more often than not perceived to be the responsibility of Government. The work that they do in providing for the special needs of the disabled is therefore complementary to that of Government.

4. As you all know the Government cannot do everything on its own.
The partnership with organizations like yours makes it possible for programmes to reach those that need help a little easier and more cost-effectively than if they were coordinated from a Government office. By establishing income generating opportunities such as the sorghum mill and horticulture projects at Tamasane and Serowe, your organization is proving that even in disability there is dignity. With your creativity and innovation you can fight poverty and stigma, live a life of hope and promise and find Dignity.

5. Bagaetsho, this donation by BIHL Trust is a demonstration of
their belief in the importance of communities and people of this country in general with whom they do business. It is also a manifestation of their strong commitment to the ideals of Vision 2016 which among others, challenges us to be a Compassionate and Caring Nation. This donation, in my view, is BIHL's way of endorsing the vision of the late Tlhabologo Monageng, the founder of the Central Association of The Blind and Disabled (CABD). I have no doubt that all of us here would like to pay tribute to his vision.

6. I am glad that Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited Trust Fund
administrators decided to hand over this donation now because an act of kindness put off until tomorrow may become only a bitter regret. I am thus challenging the business community and those individuals and organizations that have the means and the will to step up to the plate to emulate this example of compassion for the needy.

7. Bagaetsho, let me take this opportunity to urge the Central
Association for the Blind and Disabled as well as other bodies of similar undertakings in other parts of this country that it is important to continue to earn the trust and faith of your benefactors. One very important way of doing so is to ensure that all grants and donations received are used to cater for the core functions of the organization. It is important therefore that all funds and equipment donated, including this minibus, are used appropriately to promote accountability and respect for the beneficiaries in whose name donations are sought and secured. Indeed there is no better tribute to pay to the late Mr. Tlhabologo Monageng than to remain true to his well intended mission when he founded the Centre for the Blind and Disabled.

8. I am confident that you are working closely with national
umbrella bodies such as BOCONGO and Botswana Council for the Disabled
(BCD) to ensure adherence to proper governance standards.

9. Bagaetsho, let us commit ourselves to doing more for the blind
and disabled people in this country. We have already taken a decision as Government, for example, to allow the handicapped to receive medical attention free of charge at all public health facilities. We stand ready to support in whatever way possible all community groups, businesses, individuals and faith based communities in their efforts to make sound contributions towards the attainment of Vision 2016.

10. I know our media people are more than keen to work with us to
spread information about these acts of compassion and care to people in many areas of this country and beyond. Hopefully such stories will inspire more to emulate BIHL's example.

11. With these remarks, it is my distinct pleasure to receive this
minibus from BIHL Trust Fund on behalf of the Central Association for the Blind and Disabled centre in Mahalapye. Thank you to all of you for finding time from your busy schedule to be with us this afternoon.

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