Bana Ba Ditlou (in short BaBaDi) project is a response of the Catholic Community to the growing problem of orphaned, hungry, neglected, malnourished, abused, HIV infected, dying of AIDS and otherwise vulnerable children of the town of Kasane and the Chobe area.
The original idea was conceived several years ago by Mrs. Judy Hepburn, who wanted to provide food for the hungry children. She also secured the first funds for the project. She organised the building permits and the first play-ground for children. The foundation and the slab of the building for the future project was constructed. Unfortunately, we did not have more funds to continue the building.
The establishment of the OVC (read more on the OVC page) office was an important step providing the very important psycho-social component of the project.
The growing number of children in need already visiting the Catholic Mission, with the associated troubles (breaking into our mission facilities, church, toilets, damaging water supply, flowers and landscaping) was a constant reminder of the necessity and urgency of the project.
Finally, towards the end of 2009, the idea reached a degree of clarity and maturity needed for further fundraising activities and establishing of the project. We felt that the original idea of a feeding centre for children has to be expanded by providing activities for them together with other ways of keeping them "out of trouble, street life and idleness", accompanied with various forms of psycho-social support. We would like to stimulate the children in educative and creative ways to enhance their development and chances for a successful future.
Still in 2009 we received the fist donations for continuation of building small facilities of the project from Mr. Pius Cyriac from Gaborone and for the renovation of the play-ground from Mr. John Curtin from Canada.
7th January 2010 a German businessman Lars Gorschlüter visited Kasane for one reason only: to try to help us to establish the project and to secure the future sustainability. Since he has been involved in conservation projects in Botswana, he proposed to make conservation or education for conservation an integral part of the project. This idea fits very well in the already recognised principles and structure of the project. The visit of Lars was an important catalyst moving the idea forward towards a working reality.
We continue to develop the idea and we hope that the BaBaDi project will help many children. We were able to secure funding for the construction of our simple facilities and concluded the building in July 2010. The official opening of the project was on the 15th August 2010.
Because of the legal and other requirements we decided to establish a Trust. It was a lengthily and costly legal process but we managed to complete it. The Bana Ba Ditlou Trust (in short BaBaDi Trust) was officially registered in Botswana on the 4th January 2013.