November 2020 Update – Written by CEO & Founder Letty McMaster
JULY 2020 – FRED
Fred who we rescued from the streets in February 2019 has gone from strength to strength since having a home. He adores football and is very talented. In July this year, I took Fred to football academy trials and he was chosen as one of 30 (out of 150 children) for an academy of one of the best football teams in Tanzania. This was an incredible achievement and we are so proud of him, don’t forget to look out for MSOVELA on your screens in years to come.
AUGUST 2020 – PASCAL
Pascal is 17 and never had the chance to go to school. Until the age of 14 he was forced to herd animals in his village. He ran to the streets a few years ago in search of a better life. We came across Pascal on one of our street visits in August 2019. Since October 2019, we have been supporting Pascal in a life away from the streets. He is now part of our family and living in the house.
Pascal has always wanted to gain an education, and in August of this year, he began one on one literacy tuition. He is so grateful, as of November 2020 he is now able to read and write in Swahili. Over the next few months, he will have further tuition, which will help him achieve the level that is needed in order for him to be accepted into a local college. Here, he wants to study mechanism and driving. These skills will give him a better chance at future employment.
Eva has finished her first year at university studying Business Administration. Since starting university she has been given so many opportunities. She was elected as chair of her year within the first month, where she was in charge of organizing lectures and liaising between students and teachers. In June, after many interviews she was chosen as the volunteer chairperson for her university the (International NGO) Restless Development. This was an enormous achievement. After two months of organizing events for over 100 youths giving back to their community, she was elected as Assistant Program Coordinator for Restless Development. In this role, she has the responsibility of organizing all three universities in the region, receiving her own office at University.
We came across Moody on one of our visits to the streets last year. Since then, he has been visiting and receiving support via the Safe house. In August we managed to re-home Moody with his Grandma and support him back into education. He is now happily settled with his Grandma after being separated from her for years. We are so happy he is now safely re-homed and we are continuing to support Moody in his education.
THE SAFE HOUSE
After re-opening the ‘Safe House’ in June, it became a vital safe space for over 24 current street children and young adults.
At the ‘Safe House’ street children and young adults are able to come for food, support and guidance in a life away from the streets. Since October 2019, we have supported 10 more street children have off the streets.
For the whole of August, this house acted as a safe haven for 6 children who were involved & witnessed a rape case. After the children alerted me of what was occurring in town, we spent several days at the police station giving witness statements. During this time the ‘Safe House’ acted as a witness protection area for the children involved in this case.
MOHAMED & BARAKA
Mohamed is 12 years old and we met him via the Safe House in June. In August, he was brought to the home at night by a number of boys on the streets, as he had attempted to end his own life. We managed to get him to the hospital in time, and after an over night stay, he survived. The nurses believed that if we arrived at the hospital later than we did, he would no longer be with us.
Baraka is 14 and was involved in a car accident at an early age. In this accident he lost his mother. This has had a significant effect on his mental health.
The social welfare office and police classed Mohamed & Baraka as two of the ‘naughtiest’ children on the streets and claimed that they couldn’t be helped. In July, they were welcomed into the home where they have gradually evolved through distancing themselves from previous behaviours. The changes in Mohamed have been huge. Going from the boy that was filled with anger in June, to a much happier, loving and thoughtful person in the family. We have now managed to re-home Baraka with a relative who is able to support him.
EVA – DAY OF THE GIRL
We are so proud of our Eva who decided to share her story for the ‘Day of the Girl’ in order to inspire other younger girls living a life similar to the one she ran away from. Her story was featured on an account ‘Girl Effect’ alongside many other inspirational stories. Hers was chosen as one of the favourites.
After this success she was asked to enter a competition for East Africa and record a video of herself telling her story, she was the only person from Tanzania to be chosen. After this the head of Restless Development Tanzania (International NGO) asked her to go around primary schools talking about the importance of education for young girls.
SUPPOSED TO: “Be married to an older Masaai man at the age of 12 and
be a housewife with lots of children.”
CHOSE TO: “Run away and get an education.”
“I was born in Pawaga Village where when a girl is born,
it is decided that she will be married off to an older man at the age of 12, in exchange for cows.
At the age of 12 I ran away from my village to Iringa town as my relatives were trying to marry me off to an older Masaai man.
When I got to Iringa town, I was taken to an orphanage where I started to gain and education. I stayed here for four years whilst being supported in primary school by my sister. When I finished primary education, I started to live with my sister who supported me in secondary and university education.
I have just finished my certificate in business administration and I am starting my diploma in November. I am also Assistance Programme Coordinator for RUCU network.
If I had not run away, none of this would have happened and I would have been a house wife with lots of children”.
Both Eva and her twin Lidia, have been supported by us for the past 7 years, through primary, secondary and university education. We are so proud of their success.
Eva’s full story and video can be seen here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUlBGCv9qs
Gosberth is in his final few months of his last year of secondary school. He is still first place in his year and he recently did a interschool mock GCSE examination where he received the top marks in the region, out of 30,000 students. With his current results they are predicting Gosberth will get a part-scholarship to the best A level school in Tanzania. He has come so incredibly far and we are beyond proud of him.
Simoni is currently in his first year of secondary school. Simoni is trying his best but he is not the most academically inclined. He would love to instead study an electrical course at the local college.
Pishon is currently doing his national exams for his second year of secondary school. He is achieving good results at school but also focuses on his passion for music, spending time in the studio with his friends where he records new songs that are played on the local radio. This year he did his first stage performance at a local show.
Eliah’s personality seems ever-evolving, from being so shy to now being a big joker in the house. He is still doing well at school and in January 2021, along with Fred, will be going into his final year of primary school.
Samson, who was found on the streets in 2018 and re-homed with his mother and younger brother, is now studying at an English-speaking secondary boarding school.
Here, he is loving his education and is in the top ten of his year, gaining straight As. We envision a big future ahead for Samson.
After finishing his secondary education Baraka has been helping with the cooking for the children at the Safe House. He also helps by taking children and young adults, who come via the safe house, for check-ups at the local hospital. In December he is starting a driving course. This will provide him with another skill.
Maggie is finishing her first year of secondary school. She is forever grateful to be safe, receiving an education and escaping childhood marriage.
Lidia is currently re taking two subjects for her GCSEs in order to be able to enrol in a childhood education or social welfare university course next year. This will enable her to pursue her dreams of working with children. Throughout this year Lidia has also been helping out with the Safe House and street visits.
Since January 2020 Razarlo has been studying a tourism/guide course at a national park in Tanzania. He is doing so well here and has learnt a great deal. He will be staying here until he is chosen by a tourism company to work, which will hopefully happen within the next year. He is now on the road to becoming fully independent.
Flygod is the first of the young adults to move out of the house. We will be supporting him at the local college, in order for him to learn a skill of his choice. This will enable him to support himself into adult life.
Iddy will be starting a music production course in 2021. This will give him the skills and connections to work on his dreams of making his own music and having a studio. Iddy is a big part of the street visits we carry out and also helps with the current street children at the Safe House.
For the last 6 months we have also been supporting him in boxing training, as he is a very talented boxer.
We have been supporting Kepha for the past year in his private secondary education. He was referred to us via the social welfare as his family could not afford a good secondary education for him.
CELEBRATIONS – FOUR YEARS OF HAVING A HOME
I can’t believe how much has happened in four years. I opened the home in September 2016, which then led to me registering Street Children Iringa as a UK registered charity. The charity is now supporting the home, which in turn currently homes 12 children and young adults. It also supports the Safe House, which allows between 24 and 30 current street children and youths to feel safe in a life away from the streets. The charity also provides support for girls at risk of child marriage to gain access to an education, carries out regular street visits to find new children at risk, and where possible, re-homes children and supports their relatives with a sustainable source of income. The activities of the charity have expanded so much, and, in the next five years we aim to support the children and young adults who come through the Safe House, in a life away from the streets. We also hope to be able to support and empower many more relatives of children where it is possible to re-home them.
SUPPORTING PHILLIPO & HIS GRANDMA
Last year we managed to re-home Phillipo with his Grandma via the Safe House.
We have been supporting Phillipo and his Grandma over the past year by providing them with monthly food packages and school needs.
We have now supported Phillipo’s Grandma in opening up a small sustainable coal business, which will allow her to provide for Phillipo and her other two other grandchildren.
We have also helped them with a year’s rent, so that they can move out of the previous, unsafe location in which they were living.