A girl with new school books
PROJECT NAME: Empower 155 Street Children and Girls in Tanzania
PROJECT LOCATION: Arusha, northern Tanzania
PROJECT PARTNER: Shalom Centre for Street Children
PROJECT PERIOD: November 2011 - October 2012 (Year 1 of 3)
In just 6 months, this project is already making a massive difference to marginalised and at risk children and youths in Arusha, northern Tanzania.
Access to Education
The project is supporting one hundred children to access primary education, of whom 26, aged 6-12, have been enrolled in school for the first time.
Never attended school x 26
Dropped out of school due to lack of scholastic materials x 9
Enrolled in school but with poor attendance/performance due to family difficulties, low income of families, death of parents, child headed households etc x 65
One girl, aged 12, was quoted saying in Swahili “Naishukuru Shalom kunipeleka shule kwani sikuwa na tumaini la kusoma shule siku moja” meaning that “I thank you Shalom for sending me to school as I had no hope at all that I might go to school one day”.
Access to Training and Psychosocial Support
This project is currently supporting 23 teenage girls and young women, many of whom are involved in the commercial sex trade and/or extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Once identified, the women and girls were referred to Shalom’s main centre, where their immediate needs were met – they could take a shower, eat a nutritious meal and rest in safety. They were also able to access basic healthcare, recreational activities and a counselling service. As they are considered too old for mainstream schooling, Shalom enrolled the women and girls in vocational training linked to local income generating activities, following a discussion with them to decide on the most appropriate course. These courses, such as tailoring or hairdressing, will equip them with marketable skills they need to find legitimate work in the community. Shalom is also providing monthly training in life skills, health education and business skills and organise excursions to develop the girls’ confidence and broaden their horizons.
For children living on the streets on their own, Shalom’s priority is family reunification and reintegration. Shalom’s outreach workers provide these children with life skills education and psychosocial support with the aim of building trust and eventually reuniting them with their families. If family reunification is not appropriate or possible, Shalom will look into other family based alternatives, such as foster care or adoption. Shalom has so far reintegrated 20 children with their families and placed one in foster care.