Welcome on the website of the Upendo Daima project for street children in Mwanza, Tanzania. Mwanza is a fast growing city on the shores of Lake Victoria. In this city you can see on the street the poverty due to high food prices, economic crisis and climate change. Large groups of children, starting at 6 years, are trying to survive on the street with odd jobs, selling water, theft and prostitution.
Upendo Daima, a small scale project with 22 enthusiastic staff members, led by Marga van Barschot, has been actively searching since 2003 for these children on the street and provide shelter in the Back Home House. From there the team offers counseling, shelter, education and brings them if possible back home. The family is supported. If it is impossible to reunite the children with the family, then they are brought to Malimbe Family, where 50 children live together, are raised and get education until they are able to make their living independently.
We do our best to get more sponsoring from Tanzania. Ultimately we want to be less dependent on the international donors, after all taking care of street children is primarily a responsibility of the country. And we see that we get more and more contributions from people in our environment, especially in kind.
So we had three groups visiting Malimbe Family in September and October. First 21 runners from "Team Fitness" from Arusha, who had run half the marathon, came to visit our boys. Our acrobatic team and the traditional dance group gave a beautiful performance. The visitors liked it very much and were very interested in how we do our work with the street team and the Back Home House, primarily aimed at reuniting the boys with their families. They brought rice, sugar, bread, cooking oil, tea, and a large sum of money to support our work. The leader of the group has spoken to our boys and encouraged them to make something of their life despite the bad start on the street.
The same week we had the Lions Club from Mwanza visiting us. We told them the story of our work, gave them a tour and treated them with the performances of our acrobats and traditional dancers. Symbolically an eggplant plant was planted in the garden as a sign of friendship. The Lions Club brought gifts along in the form of books and pens, flour, fresh milk and fruit juice and delicious biscuits and maandazi. In a speech they complimented the staff with the important social work we are doing for Mwanza region.
On 8 October we got the CRDB Bank visiting us as part of their annual social event day. Also they were received with an introduction of our work and performances of the children. It's every time very nice to see how enthusiastically the guys are showing what they can and how the public reacts. They also had a lot of gifts with him in the form of sugar, cooking oil, corn and rice, books and pens.
With this type of visits we are happy, not only because of the presents. It shows also that we are not alone and that there is appreciation from the local community for our work.
Ask for a present to support a street child
Do you invite your friends for your birthday and they ask you ideas for a present. You are leaving office and they are asking what your farewell wishes are. Are there other celebrations and opportunities to ask for a present, please ask then a gift to support the street children of Mwanza. We made for you the following gift list:
Cooperation with the organization
We have recently started a cooperation with the organization "Railway Children of Africa" focussed on the capacity of reintegrating children with their family. The family is assisted now to facilitate a better integration. We also are able to support the family after the child has come home. We are very glad with this because we are able to fulfill in a better way our principal mission to bring the child home.