Queen Baboloki Kgeresi

Country representing

Botswana

Languages

Setswana
English

Education

  • University of Botswana
  • BA Psychology & Sociology
  • Gender Based Violence for Health Care Professionals

Current organisation

BA ISAGO University

Current role

Student Welfare & Support Officer

Skills and Expertise

Activism
Education
Human rights
Social entrepreneurship
Women’s rights

Areas of interest

Education
Human Rights
Leadership
Youth Unemployment

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

When I was 9 I became a victim of sexual assault; at 11 I lost my father, who believed in the dreams I wanted to turn into reality; the positive support that I needed was often difficult to obtain in a single parent household, but I told myself from a young age that my upbringing would not define my aspirations. The observation that so many young people growing up around me let their home-life define their direction and choices into adulthood helped me recognize my role in the lives of young people in my country. I wanted to help individuals identify their unique talents and hearten them in a way that makes a contribution to humanity. I did this on my spare time, and it involved acts of voluntarism in Non-Governmental organization because I wanted to gain skills that I knew would help me when I started my advocacy work. I started by mentoring 10 young girls and it grew from there as I started realizing the need to assist the marginalized groups in my community. I founded The Dream Hub project to support marginalized groups (survivors of Gender Based Violence & teenage mothers) to turn their stories into a dignified life, we focus more in rural communities because there is little opportunity for work. I strongly believe every individual deserves to live a dignified life; I believe it is possible to bridge the gap between the haves and have not’s and it is possible to turn our dreams to reality. And I believe the world is a place worth living.

Actions

Gender based violence is arguably the most widespread of all human rights violations. Over two thirds (67%) of women in Botswana have experienced some form of gender based violence in their lifetime. Patriarchal attitudes are an underlying factor driving the incidence of gender based violence. While there is a push for gender equality from men and women, very little has been done to effect real change. Instead, gender based violence is perpetuated by a lack of information and resources, lack of political support, and media misrepresentation. To make matters worse, the overwhelming stigma and blame from family, friends, and society faced by victims of gender based violence makes it impossible to pursue a normal life: get an education, get a job, and provide for themselves and their families. Not only is education and empowerment necessary to overcome stigma, but in many instances it can act as a preventative measure against gender based violence. I work directly with communities focusing on education and empowerment for marginalized groups. Additionally, I connect individuals with sponsors and mentors from across the country. The Project is based on the simple premise that all individuals have the right to live a dignified life. Beyond these services, The Dream Hub Project, through Queen’s direction, has developed partnerships with law enforcement agencies, local resource and advocacy groups, and University groups to promote a comprehensive and coordinated response to tackling gender based violence at the individual, community, and societal levels. We are building a generation of young women, teenage mothers and young people who are equipped to realize their potential and are able to “beat the odds” and we have also supported the formation of grassroots girls clubs for peer support.