Kissa Mwangosi is 33 years old and has worked with Railway Children’s partners in Tanzania, Cheka Sana, as the family work manager since 2015. She organizes the work at our two children’s centres there and is dedicated to improving the situations of the children she meets every day.
'Every day is different, but always interesting'
‘Most of my days are very busy so I always start my day the same way. I wake up at 5am, drink two glasses of water and then go back to bed to read – currently I am reading about therapeutic activities. After prayers and yoga I start work at 7.30am.
‘I start with going through the documentation and updating the information in the children’s individual files – it is important to give this information focus and respect so I prefer to deal with that first, in the calm early morning. My colleagues have followed my example in doing this and in this way we operate a very organised documentation system, with high confidentiality – vital when we are working with such vulnerable children.
‘I always dreamt of working with children and helping them achieve their life goals’
‘At 8:30am I meet with the whole team to go through case analysis and help the social workers develop different strategies and think outside of the box when they need to during their interventions with children. They present the cases they need extra support with – such as those where there is a high risk of physical or sexual abuse in the family or a child is demonstrating destructive behaviours – and we concentrate on looking for possible solutions rather than analysing the problems.
‘Unless there are departmental meetings, the hours between 10am and 1pm are spent in intensive development sessions with the children. During these meetings it is important that the child themselves is the main speaker. They are encouraged to share any positive things they have done and the steps they have made emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically.
‘Sharing their progress with us gives them confidence and we always make sure to appreciate and acknowledge their efforts, giving compliments and feedback. By encouraging them to continue their own development they feel happier and start to value their abilities so we focus on their strengths rather than their problems so they develop a higher self-esteem.
‘I love giving time, energy and knowledge to guiding children and their families and feel so proud when I see them develop, change and progress’
‘Between 1.30 and 2.30pm I have individual sessions with those that need it – this week it was with a mother of four children who is struggling. She has some great strengths and abilities. She works so hard to make sure the children get three meals a day and keeps the room they share tidy and organised. But at the same time she is immature and her childish nature means she needs attention and mothering like a child. By demonstrating this we hope she will respond by showing similar behaviour to her children.
‘After writing up any necessary reports, I usually leave the office between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. Before I leave I like to meet up with the children at the centre again and ask them about their day. Personally I feel relaxed and happy if I can leave hearing some interesting, positive stories, letting them share their feelings and seeing smiles on their faces.’