Due to poverty, many children in Arusha are pushed onto the streets where they often resort to street hawking, scavenging for food, begging, drug trafficking and theft. On the street they are extremely vulnerable to violence and harassment; young girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and prostitution and are at high risk of contracting STIs and HIV/AIDS. The majority of these children will join gangs, especially those without a family, turning to a life of crime and drug abuse.
This project will provide vocational, reproductive health and life skills training to teenage girls, taking them off the streets and offering them the chance of viable employment. It will provide counseling, home visits and school materials to children from poor families, improving their chance of completing their education. It will also provide counseling, home visits, family support, and follow-up to children living on the streets, with the aim of reuniting them with their families.
This project will ensure that 155 street children and vulnerable girls are protected from harm and exploitation and give them the knowledge, skills and confidence to become responsible and productive members of society. Through awareness raising initiatives, it will also change the attitudes of the wider community towards street children and increase their involvement in providing much needed support to marginalised children within their communities.