Our children come very poor backgrounds.
Dar es Salaam is attracting ever more people from the countryside, and they move into the shanty towns which have sprung up on the edges of the city. There, communities are recent and mobile, with little in the way of support in case of family breakdown. Aids has had a big impact, but malaria and other diseases, together with drug abuse have all combined to cause rising family disintegration.
Malaika Kids aims to step in as early as possible, especially with the Relatives Support Programme. Through our monthly package of support and mentoring, which costs about £19, we can often keep siblings together in the care of perhaps a grandmother or aunt, ensuring continuity to their lives.
However not all children are so lucky, and they get a second chance by being placed with a new mother, brothers and sisters in our purpose built Children’s Village in the country. Direct costs about £30 a month.
We take in children at the request of the Ministry of Social Welfare, and so become responsible for them. We start a personal file on each child where their background data, schooling and health issues are all recorded, and this is updated regularly.
Their education is vital, and we work hard to ensure each child has the best and most relevant opportunities. Now the oldest children are beginning to leave school, we are finding them career and vocational training so that they will be able to get employment and become independent adults.
In order to take in more young children who have just suffered family breakdown, we generally end our Relatives Support Programme when the child has left school after Standard 7; however this is flexible, and as regards the Children’s Village open ended, as Malaika Kids is their family. This relationship also means that when they become successful, we will look to them to support the next generation of orphans in their turn.