- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 9, 2005


The Dula Sentle AIDS orphanage in Otse, Botswana, about 35 miles outside Gaborone, the capital, is an unlikely but successful mix of foreign volunteers, international development funding and tribal cooperation.

More day care center than orphanage, it provides a safe haven — after-school day care, some meals, clothing, and tutoring in computers, music, the arts and other subjects — for 91 children whose parents have died of AIDS. Conforming with local tradition, most of the children go home each evening to a grandparent, an aunt or some other member of their extended family.

Gill Fonteyn, a Belgian who has become a citizen of Botswana, and his Motswana wife, Brenda, started Dula Sentle four years ago. Mr. Fonteyn said it costs about $500 a year to take care of one child’s needs. He opened a furniture factory that generates money and teaches a trade to some of the older boys.

He said the orphanage’s biggest need is money to build a 24-hour shelter for some of the children who have lost all their relatives and to buy shoes and bicycles. A study by Rachel Kidman, a researcher from the Harvard School of Public Health, concluded that Dula Sentle can and should be used as a model throughout Botswana and other parts of Africa.

Her study is available on the Internet at https://www.case-web.org/Kidman__Rachel_Final_Case.pdf.

Photo Gallery: AIDS orphanage scripts success

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