Project update: new club to inspire change
- Date: 24/11/2017
- In: East Africa
The growing success of our work in rescuing children from the streets and giving them a safe, secure future means that more and more young people are changing their lives and reaching their potential. They are a vital resource to us at Railway Children.
They have first-hand experience of life on the streets and know how what others in the same situation need. They are an inspiration to the children we’re helping, proving to them how much things can change. Knowing how this could motivate those children still on the streets or in residential care, our teams in Africa decided to try bringing the two groups of people together.
So thanks to the hard work and dedication of Kissa Mwangosi from Railway Children’s partner organisation Cheka Sana, The Ambassadors’ Club has now launched in Tanzania. It brings children in our residential centres together with those that have graduated from our programmes and gives them the opportunity to be inspired by meeting young people who have been where they are and successfully changed their lives.
Kissa said: “I came up with the idea of having this club having spent time with this wonderful group of young people who were on the streets before and are now progressing amazingly well with their life goals. Some are still within the programme but at higher levels, some are in schools or colleges and others are already working and becoming more independent.
“But all have a lot of positive testimonies to share and can talk about what they went through during the process of change. Their experiences are a valuable insight, especially for the children in residential care who are really struggling with their behaviour or having difficulties in making decisions about their futures.
“We deal with a lot of children who have given up in life after suffering difficulties in their pasts and having been let down by those they had trusted. These children need to be motivated and encouraged on why and how positive changes are possible.”
Kissa’s idea was welcomed by the rest of the Railway Children team in East Africa and the Ambassadors’ Club has launched with great success so far. Not only that, the positive impact of the club has inspired the launch of a second one – this time bringing together parents and care givers who are struggling to make changes with those that have made real progress with their families. This group has also reported some brilliant feedback and both clubs are going from strength to strength.
Kissa said: “In both groups, which meet once a month and are joined by a social worker, progress is superb, members are learning a lot and many are starting to change their attitudes and behaviours.”