The number of adolescents in southern Africa living with HIV has increased rapidly over the last few years. Currently, over 1,400 teenagers are enrolled in Botswana’s anti-retroviral program, but that number will increase as current 10, 11 and 12 year olds become teenagers.
The Botswana-Baylor Children’s Centre of Excellence is internationally renowned for its education, research, and treatment of those living with HIV. Its programmes, however, are organized around the treatment of paediatric HIV. Once patients reach adolescence, no facilities exist to help them in dealing with the physical and emotional changes they are going through, as well as pressures of culture, gender, and poverty.
The new Botswana-Baylor Adolescent Centre will become a safe and welcoming place for HIV-positive teens to meet each other, share their experiences, receive treatment and advice, and gain skills as they become adults. Peer support and empowerment is also a large part of the mission. Its facilities will consist of a renovated existing building, as well as a new structure containing a library and a large computer laboratory.
A new entry court is oriented toward a wall mural painted by American First Lady Michelle Obama and her children. This will be a welcoming, calming place that will provide space to hang out. The buildings themselves frame a series of small gathering spaces that can be used for private conversations or meetings. To the back of the site is a large open area for games and big events.Team: Matthew Johnson, Jason Logan, Josh Robbins