Our system is to take the new children (all of whom we receive through the Ministry of Social Welfare) into our Reception Home in the Kinondoni District of northern Dar es Salaam. They have all been categorised as orphans or most vulnerable children, and our priorities are to settle them safely and research the best solution for their future.
The Reception Home was fully redesigned and refurbished in 2005 to provide 20 places, plus an administration office which acts for the whole charity.
New children arrive with very little known about them, so trained staff find out as much as possible about them, always with the hope of reuniting them with their families.
There are newspapers and even a TV programme where these lost children can be shown, and our staff also take them to places they have known to see if any members of the wider family can be recognised.
It can take up to six months to trace surviving family and negotiate with them to foster the child. Often this is best done by placing them on our Relatives Support Programme. This not only gives the foster family a monthly support package of food, toiletries and sometimes school necessities, but also enables our social workers to see the child twice a month, to ensure their continued well being.
Those, for whom no suitable foster family can be found, are moved in small groups to the Children’s Village.
Our older children are now beginning to leave school, and we are therefore reconfiguring the Reception Home to provide them with lodgings while they train and study in Dar es Salaam.