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Hope in Botswana

June 15, 2006

Agnes Mothibidi (Mo-tea-bed-ee) has a dream — to complete her theological studies Kgolagano (Co-low-hah-no) College and to serve in the ministry of Zion Christian Church. Like many women in Botswana, her dream is overshadowed by the knowledge that her very traditional African Indigenous Church does not welcome women in the ministry or in positions of authority in the church.

Agnes perseveres in spite of AIDS and poverty — two major issues that are a constant part of her life. More than one-third of the people in Botswana are HIV positive or have AIDS. Many more are in the same financial situation as Agnes who has no formal job. She uses her small pickup truck to haul large items for a few pula to feed and clothe her family. There is no money for college fees which total approximately US$250 a year.

She came to Kgolagano (Co-low-hah-no) College on faith. That faith was justified when she received one of the first five bursaries which allowed her to begin her three-year diploma program. The financial assistance was made possible by gifts from Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ congregations which contribute to the Richard Sales Bursary Fund. This fund was established in honor of the UCC missionary who started the college thirty-one years ago. Primary recipients of the bursaries are women who have fewer opportunities for financial assistance than do men.

Our two churches continue to offer hope to women like Agnes and others by on-going financial support for Kgolagano (Co-low-hah-no) College through Global Ministries and by special gifts to the bursary fund.

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