Change in an organisation’s context needs to be met with some coherent response. This strategy aims to respond in particular to the present economic and civil society terrain in Botswana, as well as that of the global HIV/AIDS sector.
The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) niche of focusing on the human rights of vulnerable and marginalised populations remains highly relevant and necessary in the response to HIV and AIDS in Botswana. Since its formation in 2002, BONELA has advocated for a human rights approach to the national response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The organisation has made significant contributions to the development of policy and legislation, including the amended Employment and Public Service Acts, by lobbying for non-discriminatory practices in relation to health status and sexual orientation. The BONELA 2013-2016 Strategic Plan is aligned to the aspirations of Botswana’s Vision 2016, the Second Botswana National Strategic Framework for HIV & AIDS 2010-2016 (NSP 2010-2016), as well as the Millennium Development Goals.
Since its formal registration in early 2002, BONELA has grown into a strong and highly recognized voice in the fi ght against the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Botswana. The organization did this with the support of various stakeholders, including networking partners, donors, the media and individuals. BONELA is a network of concerned individuals, groups and organisations interested in protecting and promoting the rights of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Members include individuals from the legal fraternity, community-based organisations, public and private sectors, academics, concerned individuals and people living with HIV and AIDS.
In Botswana there have been many approaches, through the public, private and civil society, to combat the spread of the HIV virus. It is now recognised that HIV / AIDS is no longer a health issue and to address the spread of the HIV virus effectively a multi sectoral approach is required: the establishment of the National AIDS Co-ordinating Agency and the District and Village MultiSectoral AIDS committee amongst other initiatives indicates Botswana’s commitment to tackling the spread of HIV / AIDS. Although some achievements have been made, the rising number of those infected, the implications that the virus has on those infected and affected by HIV / AIDS has presented the Government of Botswana and its people many challenges.