Kafil is a quiet, respectful 9 year old boy from Tanzania. He lived in a happy family with his mother, Mary, father, Isaac, and elder sister in a remote part of the country, attending school every day.
But after the tragic, sudden death of Isaac, Mary was forced to move Kafil and his sister Malia to the major town of Arusha to find work. She struggled to keep ends meet although initially managed to keep both children in school.
However, it was nearly impossible for Mary to sustain a regular income. Initially she took 7-year-old, Kafil, out of school to save money. This quickly escalated to sending him to the streets to find work.
Kafil regularly started spending 14-hours every day on the streets, inevitably begging and even being forced to steal. Despite the extra income he brought in, Mary could not afford to send him back to school, or even feed her children each day, although she managed to keep Malia in school.
This situation became unbearable for Kafil, seeing his sister go to school each day while he faced exhausting, perilous days on the streets. He decided it would be better to try and make a life for himself on the streets, so he ran away.
Kafil spent 2 harrowing months on the streets, and was regularly beaten by older children – nights were particularly dangerous as he slept with no shelter on the side of the road.
Fortunately, Kafil soon learned of a Hope for Children drop-in and night shelter from some of the other street children. He started attending regularly and grew to trust our social workers.
Eventually, Kafil agreed to enroll in our local partner’s centre, and signed up to supplementary education support. In the meantime, outreach workers found Mary and have started working with her to educate her about the importance of education for both her children. Our local partner have also agreed to support the family with school materials and hope to fully reunite Kafil with his mother and sister within the next month.