Cheka Sana, Tanzania
Street children in Tanzania are at risk of exploitation, abuse and violence. With few options to earn money for food, they become susceptible to negative influences. Together with our local partner, Cheka Sana, we are working to identify the orphans and vulnerable children who are most at risk on the streets of Mwanza in north-west Tanzania.
We offer street children access to emergency support and counselling, a safe space to come to terms with their situation, build their self-esteem and social skills, and classes and activities to develop their skills and confidence. We support them throughout the transition into long-term, safe accommodation.
Together we’re establishing a programme of intensive and effective services for the vulnerable street-children in Mwanza, to give them the consistent support they need to build brighter futures for themselves.
How we make a difference:
- We work closely with Cheka Sana to understand the local context, to develop community-owned responses, and to share knowledge and solutions from other places in which we operate.
- Together, we identify vulnerable children living on the streets of Mwanza, and our skilled caseworkers slowly build a relationship with them, over the course of a month. They help with their transition into day care and later their transition into long-term accommodation.
- We offer consistent support to the street-children, and provide a safe and secure day centre for those aged 7-14 years old. Attending every day for periods of 3-4 months, these young people become familiar with daily structure and discipline.
- We equip the children with ‘life skills’, including knowledge about child rights and child protection measures, and training in games, sports and art. Each child is helped to build a portfolio of work as a record of their achievements.
- We teach the children basic skills in reading and writing, and provide help to ensure they all have basic literacy to enable them to earn a living in future.
- Whilst at the day centre, young people also learn about teamwork, efficient farming practices, and responsibilities at home. They share duties of cooking and cleaning to help them develop these skills.
- We assess whether children can be reunited with family members, or are better suited to full-time residential care and prepare them for the transition.
- We provide an emergency support base for all 7-18 year old children and youths living on the streets of Mwanza. Services include first aid, counselling, advice on dealing with physical, emotional or substance abuse, and support for referrals to clinics, hospitals, police, social services and other specialists.
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