Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania

by Amos Trust
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Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania
Support street-connected girls & women in Tanzania

Meet Aziza*, 15 years old. She is the third child from a family of five. She is from Burundi and is a mother of one child (4 months). Before coming to  Mwanza, Aziza was living with her both parents and siblings. They were farmers. 

Aziza came over the border to Mwanza (in Tanzania) five years ago when she was 10 years old, and started working as the house help in a family. She worked for this family for 5 years. She became pregnant at 15, and was kicked out of the house. The man who got her pregnant took her to his mother, but she was severely abused by the mother and her sister in law which gave her no option but to go to the streets, as life was so hard for her and her unborn child. “I was not eating properly, my mother in law beat me regularly,” said Aziza.

In July 2021, Aziza was identified by Cheka Sana Tanzania on street outreach. By then she was 6 months pregnant. Cheka Sana’s team supported her off the streets and found her temporary shelter with a Fit Person (a community member trained to offer short-term support and accommodation, similar to fostering) while Cheka Sana’s counsellors worked with her intensively to understand her needs and expectations. She was provided with wraparound support including psychosocial one to one sessions, health services (including pre natal and post natal care), life skills in different topics such as sexual reproductive health, mediation, and gender based-violence. These sessions helped her to build her self-esteem as well as self-defence skills, to protect herself against violence. “Now I know my rights and responsibilities as a girl child, and how to take care of myself” said Aziza.

In October 2021, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Mwanza Regional Hospital and CST paid for all the services, as well as providing her with baby clothes and other needs. “I thank CST for all the help and services provided to me from when they first met me up to now. Now I am a mother with different skills and knowledge, I am so honoured as I am from another country but still they took me in and helped me” said Aziza. She also said that her plan for the future is to be a small entrepreneur so that she can be able to provide for her child. 

After delivering her baby, Aziza decided she wanted to go back to her family after 5 years. Since she is from Burundi, Cheka Sana will be working together with Burundian NGO New Generation (another Amos Trust partner) to look for her family and help manage the reunification process. Although there are many steps left and the process will be challenging, Aziza is optimistic. “My life is changing from a challenging life to a promising life”.

*name changed.

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 Dear Friends,

I’d like to share with you a story from Amos Trust's partner in Tanzania, Cheka Sana.

Neema* is 21 years old, and a mother of two. Her son is 5 years old, and her daughter is just four months old. The Cheka Sana outreach team met Neema on the streets of Mwanza’s city centre one night in June this year, where they regularly meet girls who are involved in sex work. Neema was involved in sex work too. She was 9 months pregnant when the team met her. 

Neema had come to live and work on the streets of Mwanza because of the abuse she was suffering from her parents at home, after the birth of her first child. Most of the time, her parents wouldn’t provide her with food, and kept on asking her about the father of her child, who had run away when he’d found out about the pregnancy. “I remember the first day I came to the street; it was terrible, and I was so scared because I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do”.

Neema started sex work because she needed money to survive; she said when she started, she believed sex work might make her rich and she could start a different business. However she soon became pregnant again; she was so distressed, she even tried to abort it but wasn’t successful. Neema continued working while pregnant; this was when the Cheka Sana team met her. It had taken time to build trust, due to the many times she had been let down by adults in the past. But eventually Neema began to trust the Cheka Sana staff, and began to attend counselling sessions with her own case manager, who also helped her to get to a clinic to be supported with the later stages of her pregnancy; she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. 

The self-defence and business training offered by Cheka Sana gave Neema the boost to take some steps into a life she wanted for herself and her children. She made a business plan for selling women’s underwear. She received a small grant of 11,000 TSH in October, with a friend, and to date has grown her capital to 54,000 TSH. The regular profit she is already turning is helping her to pay rent on a house for herself and her children. She is no longer involved in sex work, and has been rebuilding her relationship with her parents, with the support of Cheka Sana’s family workers. Neema also feels connected with the community members around her, in the neighbourhood where she lives; she is healthy, happy and looking forward to a bright future.“I believe one day I will own my own shop; I will be a good entrepreneur, and my children and I will have a happy family”.

Thank you for your support. Wishing you a peaceful and healthy New Year. 

*names changed. 

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Dear Friends, 

In the last three months, Amos partner Cheka Sana Tanzania has kickstarted a project responding specifically to the needs of teenage mothers living or working on the streets of Mwanza. The team had identified on outreach that this was an increasing need, and that there were increasing numbers of girls on the streets who were becoming mothers themselves or were at risk of early pregnancy. 

During the first three months of this initiative, Cheka Sana have identified 27 girls who they have invited to become involved: 11 are already mothers, 13 were at risk of early pregnancy and 3 were currently pregnant. The project has started using mediation and counselling to build trust and a friendly relationship with these girls; offering play sessions for the young children of girls who are involved; and using individual and group sessions to support them. The group sessions on the street in particular are intended to help girls get to know each other and form a support system for each other whilst still on the streets. 

Cheka Sana’s team has already linked a number of girls with essential health services, including helping 17 of them register for health cards which enables them to access healthcare for themselves and their babies. Two girls who were pregnant also required legal assistance, because they’d previously been domestic workers and their contracts had been terminated unlawfully, leading them to come to the streets. 

With your support, Cheka Sana can continue to build trust and provide support to these girls and young women, as well as many more they may encounter. 

Thank you.



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Amos Trust

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Twitter: @amostrust
Project Leader:
Chris Rose
London, United Kingdom
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