Arpita Dé, who is one of our two programmes managers, returned to the Hope for Children office last week after visiting our projects in Tanzania. 

Below is an update from Arpita on her visit:

This was my maiden visit to Hope for Children’s projects in Tanzania. Currently we have three ongoing projects in Tanzania – in Dar es Saalam in the east, in south west Tanzania near Chimala and in the north in Moshi, focussing on education and livelihoods.

Children engaged in child labour
Some of the children helped at Kigamboni

Visiting the spritely children at a school, supported by Hope for Children and our partner HOACHIDT, in Kigamboni, Dar es Saalam was a refreshing experience. These visually impaired/challenged children are determined to achieve their dreams despite the difficulties they face in their everyday lives. They know that education is their key to success and seeing their dedication and strive for excellence was a humbling experience.

Our partner also supports a few mothers’ groups near Mbagala in southern Dar es Salaam. With our support, these women have been able to start their own small businesses to ensure there is enough income coming into the family to allow their children to continue with their education.

Children engaged in child labour
One of the Mothers’ Groups in Mpagala

My next visit was to Amani, in northern Tanzania. Amani is a well-known organisation working with street-involved children in Moshi and Arusha. I was able to see not only the fantastic work that they do in their residential programme but also witness how they start the process of normalising these children’s lives to ensure they enjoy their childhood as much as possible.

Street outreach workers visit areas popular with street-involved children, such as local market areas and bus stations, where they start building rapport and try to encourage these children to come in to the drop-in centres. After mutual trust is built at the drop-in centre, the outreach worker starts to motivate the children to leave the streets behind and start childhood afresh in their residential programme. This programme offers safe shelter, counselling and the opportunity for the children to restart the education. Also after sustained liaison they can reunite them with their extended families.

I joined one of Amani’s street outreach workers, Gasper, in his night-time work on the streets of Arusha one late evening and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel intimidated! My respect for these dedicated social workers has simply sky-rocketed, as I realised, how, amidst adversities, they continue with their work and take pride in bringing about positive changes in the lives of these children.

Children engaged in child labour
Gasper with some street-involved children (L) and Children in class at Amani (R)

Besides visiting existing projects in Tanzania, another purpose of my visit was to profile potential new partners which we are excited to be announcing soon!

Posted on September 10th, 2015