DITSHWANELO is an advocacy organisation with a key role in the promotion and protection of human rights in Botswana society. The Centre seeks to affirm human dignity and equality irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social status or political convictions.
In pursuit of this mission, we seek to educate, research, counsel and mediate on issues of human rights, with specific reference to the marginalised and the disempowered. Furthermore, due to our commitment to the indivisible nature of human rights, this mission extends to regional and international levels.
DITSHWANELO was established in 1993 by our Director, Alice Mogwe, and many of the people who remain on our Board of Trustees.
Throughout our existence we have been the only organisation in Botswana taking a comprehensive approach to human rights. We prioritise most of our work, however, on the groups in society who are most vulnerable and least supported by other organisations, such as those living in poverty who do not have access to justice, the indigenous people of Botswana – the Basarwa / San (Bushmen), other ethnic minorities – including immigrants and refugees, those facing the death penalty, gays and lesbians, and domestic workers. We also have a specific focus on children and young people, both in raising awareness of their rights and in ensuring that they – the next generation – have an understanding of other people’s rights and their own responsibilities.
The focus of our work has not changed significantly since our foundation. Some other organisations have been developed to address specific needs – such as various groups focusing on gender equality and HIV/AIDS – which has enabled DITSHWANELO to refocus on human rights issues less well supported by others. We continue, however, to be actively involved in all aspects of human rights, treating issues such as gender equality and HIV/AIDS as cross-cutting matters, integrated into all our work.
Our aims and our work provides detailed information about our operations.
DITSHWANELO has an independent Board of Trustees, externally audited financial accounts, and high local and international recognition, reflected in the four international awards received by DITSHWANELO and our Director.
We are extremely grateful to the many donors who have supported us since 1993, particularly our core funders, including HIVOS, the Embassy of Finland, Norwegian Church Aid, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst e.V. (EED) and, early in our life, the Danish Centre for Human Rights (DANIDA),
We are also most appreciative of the individuals who provide funding to help our general work or for specific campaigns, such as funding our death penalty case, supporting the Basarwa / San living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, or other specific work. See donations if you would like to support us.
We are also extremely grateful to the many volunteers who contribute so much to making our plans happen – and we always welcome volunteers to join us, for short or longer periods of time.