The following is an update from our Tanzanian team. On the international day for street children this reminds us of the realities of day-to-day life for many street children and those working directly with them.
“The city of Mwanza is expanding rapidly and is one of the fastest growing cities in Tanzania. However, this is also resulting in noticeably more street children both living on the street and coming to Kuleana Street Childrens Centre for support. Unfortunately, a lack of support for the centre has put it in a difficult situation and has left the centre unable to support the children in the way they need, yet morally the centre cannot tell the children to simply go back to the streets…Furthermore, there has also been an unprecedented number of street girls in Mwanza who are pregnant at the moment and that have nowhere to go or any real support. Many of these pregnancies are not planned and have resulted from both sexual abuse or life as a prostitute.
Unfortunately, this situation is made increasingly difficult by the lack of government efforts to see numbers of street children decrease. The government’s slow response to these growing numbers and lack of funding has made it difficult to support the street children to make a new life without relying on the street.
We hope the International Day for Street Children will raise awareness of the street children in Mwanza and elsewhere and help make a change for a better and brighter future.”
“I experienced hardcore street life in my youth. I know what it’s like. I congratulate the Street Child World Cup project in it’s commitment to bring attention to the plight of Street Children through the power of football.”
“When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”
“It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support.”