The end of the line, the start of their journey
- Date: 03 February 2023
- In: Tanzania
Many come from poor villages outside of the city, drawn by the potential of earning a few shillings, washing buses or carrying passengers’ luggage. They arrive in their hundreds at bus terminal, which remains a magnet, not only for children looking for opportunities to survive, but also those looking for children to exploit and abuse. The long-term prospects of these children are bleak, and without prompt interventions they are likely to endure lives of crime and substance abuse.
With decades of experience supporting children in danger at transport hubs around the world, we have used our expertise from our child friendly stations in India, to open a project at the bus terminal, providing a help desk for children arriving alone in the city. By being there when children are most at risk we can ensure they escape from this life of trauma and abuse and help them find better, brighter futures.
More than half of the children are introduced to us by other children who already know about our services. Gaining the trust of vulnerable children in street situations takes time, patience and consistency. Seeking our support and trusting us is a huge step for them– many of whom are distrusting of adults and authority figures because of their traumatic childhoods.
Wherever possible we aim to reunite children with their family and our teams work with them to create stronger, safer relationships at home so they do not return to the streets. Many children battle with addiction or need healthcare support and have often been beaten and abused at home or on the streets. Some of them have no family or other options, so we provide long-term placements for them in foster families or residential care.