Our Malaika Kids Leavers
Over the past 15 years the number of children we support has gradually risen to what is now an all time high of 174. However, this total gives only a very partial picture of the work that we do.
Also, we have said goodbye to another 142 kids. Most of these goodbyes have been happy ones; we have been able to reunite at least 89 children with their extended families. Children travel to Dar es Salaam from the countryside with their parents and get separated from them in the busy streets; a mother has postnatal depression and temporarily cannot cope; a single parent dies and the child does not know where to find other relatives. In all such cases, we are generally able to find relatives who will take good care of the child, although sometimes it can take several months to achieve this.
Another 22 have unfortunately run away and we have not been able to locate them. In many cases we assume they have returned to their families of their own accord. And we hope they are thriving. Occasionally we do hear from them again! We took one boy in when he was eleven years old: his parents were both dead and he was barely surviving on the streets. He stayed with us for more than 2 years and then suddenly vanished. He contacted us from the north of the country many years later to say that he had completed a computer course and visited our Reception Home earlier this year as a prosperous 25 year old.
Since we opened our doors there has sadly been one death amongst our children. One boy at the Children’s Village complained of a headache one evening and in the morning he was dead. At the time malaria was stated as the cause of death but meningitis was likely the true cause. He was a very happy child and is still sorely missed.
We have also said goodbye to 16 children who are now adults and for the most part gainfully employed. Most work in or around Dar es Salaam although four are now based in other parts of Tanzania. They work in schools, restaurants, construction, factories, as a teacher and a hairdresser. At least one has a partner and a child. These children have by definition no family connections to ease their way into jobs and youth unemployment is very high. We are so proud of all of them and encourage them to visit us at our Reception Home in Dar es Salaam when they can.
Another 12 are at present undertaking training courses in, among other things, accountancy, carpentry, law, social work and teaching in Dar es Salaam. We look forward to them joining their brothers and sisters in employment in the next few years.