Building trust with street children
Society has very ambivalent views towards street children who are variously seen as needing help and as a scourge. Mrs. Janeth Lukumay, manager of the dropping centre for Children for Children= Future (CCF) spoke to John Masare regarding some of the issues facing her centre which is trying to rehabilitate youths into the community.
Question B How old is the center?
Answer B The center was started in 1994 in Makao Mapya and later we shifted to this site in Kaloleni B. We also have a residential home in Maji Ya Chai.
Q B What is meant by a drop in center?
A- We try to identify and build trust with street children. Once at the center, we do behavioral rehabilitation through counseling, literary courses, sports, arts, health, education and spiritual nourishment. From here, we carry out family reunification, interviews, home visits and follow up. We provide safe accommodation including food, clothing, medical treatment bedding, etc. Once we are satisfied with the child=s progress in terms of character formation then he or she is sent to Maji Ya Chai residential centre. This whole process usual takes 3 to 6 months.
Q B How many children do you have here and at the residential home?
A B We have 35 children who are currently with us as well as about 50 who come during the day but don=t sleep here. At the residential centre, we have 84 boys and girls who are staying there.
Q B How do you support yourself?
A B We receive funding from different donors both locally and on an international level.
Q- Can you give me some names?
A B Here in town we are supported by Coca Cola, Tanzania Breweries, Rotary Club, Gupta Auto Spares, Steel Center as well as private individuals including Mr. Yusuf Sadik and Mr. And Mrs. Abdul Bayumi. Our international donors include Terres des Hommes (TDH) based in the Netherlands and Bread for the World which is located in Germany.
Q- What is your chief concern at present?
A B Our main concern is that many people see street children as special problem for organizations such as ours. We would like to stress that these children are an issue for all of us as a society and we would also like to thank the donors who continue to support us.