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Railway Children’s teams in East Africa are adjusting to a life that is almost back to normal for the children and families we work with.

Tanzania was not hit by Coronavirus with the severity much of Europe was, and the government there has now declared the country free from the virus.

However, our teams and projects across East Africa are continuing to act with caution, at the same time as being aware that the long-term impacts of the pandemic, both in terms of health and economy, will be felt for many years to come.

The fragile communities we operate within, where so many young children are forced to survive on the streets, will need our help more than ever to stay safe from the long-term damage the virus is likely to cause. This means it is more important than ever that we find better, safer outcomes for the children we meet on the streets.

We identified the greatest needs for vulnerable children and families as being for food and medical support, emergency shelter and basic necessities like mattresses and sanitiser, and we were able to set up washing stations through our community champions on the streets to help children avoid infection.

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We have also been working with Unicef to find children safer places to stay through the foster family scheme and have successfully placed many children into new families as well as training potential foster parents to support children from the streets.

The families of children we have taken back home have also needed our help as many have lost income due to the virus. We are helping them set up businesses and get back to normal and until they do, we are making sure their children get extra food at school and that they can stay for extra classes if they missed vital education earlier in the year.

We continue to reach children we find alone and at risk, reuniting them with families wherever possible and making sure they are safe from harm.