- Published on Friday, 21 September 2012 01:12
- Written by LEAH SAMSON
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ADILISHA Children center is a non-governmental organization that was established in 1999 in Mwanza city .Officials say the centre is responsible for the youth development and family safeguarding through creating and promoting sustainable ways for positive growth and development of the children and families.
Adilisha Human Resource manager Mr Evodius Baruhongerashi recalls that in 2005 the organization started to conduct different studies concerning the children who are living in imperil environment in order to assist them. These include child labour along the Lake Zone.
“A fundamental goal of our organization is to empower the children in needy, and also connect them with either
their parents or guardians. In other words, Adilisha does not keep the children here at the centre, but it provides various assistance to the children in need right in their homes,” says the Human Resource Manager. Officials say in 2008, the organization started counting children who are living in street in Ilemela and Nyamagana districts.
More than 1500 children were found to be living in the streets without any meaningful socio-economical support. One Adilisha child expert James Mikenze who is a teacher said “We started to examine them so that we could understand them better. We specifically explored the reasons for their departure at home, their plight, just to mention a few.”
“ We also help the children in needy by providing them with daily needs, such as food, soap, medicine, and clothes,” says Mr. Mikenze. Ms Miriam Charles who works with the street children says the organization targets both the children who live in their homes and those who beg in the streets and then they leave for home in late evening. “The second group is the
group of children who live in town only and here some have their home but they escaped and some of them do not have even home because they were born by mothers found in the streets,” says Ms Miriam.
Adilisha youth Co-ordinator Mr Mnaku said the exercise involved finding the children in the streets at midnight. “This is the time when most of them are found asleep in different areas, and most of them are always willing to talk to us.” He says. “It takes two to six months to talk with children in streets advising them to go back to homes and when they accept we take them to camps where we continue with counselling them, teaching them on how to live in good way, treating their psychology so that they can feel part of the society and not excluded for the society,”said Mr evodius adding;
“Then we start organizing with their parents for those who are ready to go back home by using village leaders to helps us to get the parents of these children make it easy for us to send them back”. “For those who grow in the street we organize them into groups and give them skills and support according to their preference such as tailoring, driving, farming, and other disciplines. We usually use mobile schools to train them.”
“We have fifteen children whom we have supported and have secured own employment in tailoring, carpentry and other related businesses. Five of them are at Isamilo, and Igoma wards, while the other ten are Nyakabungo area.” He said. “For those who are still in school (primary to secondary level), we normally pay for their schools fees. We also teach them of proper social conduct so that they can cope with other people in the society.”
He added The organization faces a number of challenges that range from meager resources, and negative perceptions people have on our activities. Some members of our society think that the street children are dangerous, erratic and chaotic characters, Explained Mr Evodius.