Each of the children has their own reason for having themselves in this predicament. Many of them have left their homes in order to try to find a better way of life for themselves. They leave hoping they will be able to find a job but are frequently unsuccessful because they are too young to work, they lack training and are unable to access basic items to ensure even proper hygiene. Others leave their homes due to rejection, exploitation and abuse from their families. Diseases such as HIV/ AIDS have also left many of these children orphans.
Where we come from in the United States and Australia, there are homeless shelters available to offer warm meals, shower facilities and a place to sleep to those living on the streets.
Arusha does not have any such facility.
The children sleep on the streets along storefronts in the city. If they are lucky, they will have a mesh tarp to use to cover themselves at night to try and keep from getting bitten by mosquitos and to provide minimal protection from the cold night winds. When we met the children most of them were wearing thin t-shirts, ripped holey trousers and worn rubber sandals. Those living on the streets don’t have access to showers so the children try their best to maintain cleanliness by washing themselves and their clothing in the river (rarely having soap).
After meeting the children and seeing the inhumane lifestyle they are living, we are compelled to do whatever is in our power to make even a slight difference in these children’s lives.
With the donations raised we hope to start a homeless shelter for children in Arusha, Tanzania. The money will be used toward purchasing a space that will provide a shelter for the children to sleep in at night; an area meals can be provided, showering facilities, and a space where they can be taught skills and then go on to find jobs. We hope that the project will grow and that in addition to providing the children with basic life necessities, we can introduce a mentoring program. The program will be designed to educate and encourage the children. We will provide them with basic life training and assist them with getting an education, job training and choosing life paths that will better themselves and their circumstances. We hope to provide alternate, positive options that lead away from the self destructive behaviour, crime and addiction, which many of these children believe have no option but to turn to for survival. Sniffing glue and drinking alcohol are just two common behaviours that are undertaken simply to endure some of the rough conditions that these young kids are exposed to and just to get through the long, cold nights.
Despite having to endure such a lifestyle, these children are positive, spirited and appreciative of any assistance. Prior to launching this fundraising appeal, we have provided the children with meals, warm clothing, shoes, basic healthcare, soap and toothbrushes where we have been able.
Having a shelter will make a huge difference to these children and their futures. Basic life necessities such as food, water and shelter are things that many of us take for granted and don’t even need to think about. Most of us in the western world (whether you are aware of it or not), are so blessed. Trust me when I say that there is no better feeling than helping those that are less fortunate.
Since my time in Arusha alongside Sadie and Jimmy, as mentioned above, we have provided help where we have been able but we cannot sustain and provide without your help.
If you are able, please donate to this very worthy cause. Any amount large or small is so very appreciated and goes a long way in this part of the world. Thank you in advance for your generosity and support.
Please feel free contact me if you would like any more information!
- Karen Symonds
- Lyn Mol
- Lynne Smith
- Adelaide Richards
- Lauren Smith
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