Our safe house and why we need it.
Malaika Kids has a safe property in a poor area of Dar es Salaam. It’s where we began – before we created the Children’s Village in Mkuranga – and we still need the Reception Home to fulfil our mission.
This is where Welfare bring children to us and ask us to help. Sometimes it’s possible to return the child to a member of their extended family. Sometimes it’s impossible, and we eventually move the child to the security of the Children’s Village in Mkuranga some 48 kilometres south of Dar es Salaam. Below are some recent examples of the children’s backgrounds:
- A young boy travelled to Dar es Salaam with his mother. She is HIV positive and has cancer and is now in hospital. We took the child into our home until a relative could be found in his native village.
- Another child lived with a mother and step father. The step father burned his hands with an iron; this was noticed by the boy’s headmaster, who reported the matter to the police. The child was put into our safe keeping for a month while the matter went to court. He has since returned to be with his mother.
- A young girl had a mother who died in childbirth, with the father unknown. An older brother was originally going to attempt to bring up the child, but he did not show up. However, at the mother’s funeral other relatives did appear and have offered to look after her.
- An older girl had bruises on her body which were noticed at school. She was with us for only two days while Social Services had discussions with the mother.
- Another child had been living in her native town with cousins and her grandmother, who recently died. She travelled to Dar es Salaam by train (without a ticket) in order to look for her mother. She has nowhere to live, and we are trying to find her family. However, her story keeps changing – possibly because she is afraid to go back to her family home.
Our facilities in the Reception Home are fairly cramped. We have younger children like those above who may still return to their family, or we may in due course transfer to the Children’s Village.
We also have older children who have been living in the Village and need to return to Dar es Salaam in order to do training courses or apprenticeships that are not available in Mkuranga. In total, we have 20 children resident in Dar es Salaam at this point in time – the numbers fluctuate.
They all sleep in three small bunk-bed dormitories and they eat outside in the shade (the pineapples in the picture were grown on our land in Mkuranga and sell locally for about 50p).
There is generally a positive “buzz” in the home. The children below are looking at pictures of themselves taken when we visited Tanzania last year.
Our founder, Najma Manji, pictured here on the left, is sitting in the only communal space indoors. Beside her is a former Malaika Kid. Now grown up he supports himself working in a hotel, but he likes to return every so often to see how we are doing.
Please note: We do know all of our children by name; however, we avoid providing data that would enable them to be identified, in line with our Child Safeguarding Policy.