She says, children while working on the streets go through many challenges and problems. “Mentally you can’t go to school, you can’t think, and you are absent to work for long hours, so you can eat. This affects our academic performance and regularity in class. Some work is hazardous to our health. Girls are at a great risk of being attacked by drunken men in bars or even by older boys on the streets. People look down on you and call you names like ‘Mawungu’ which means destitute. You feel alone, rejected and bitter. Some children end up using drugs as a ‘myth’ of healing from this situation.”
Shamim says her world seemed hopeless until she met a couple of social workers who were part of the Child Restoration Outreach project.
Shamin says, “I suggest that children should be given basic needs. Once children are shown love, care and support they can be able to feel safe at home. This will help them to have a normal life at home and school. Children ought to be enrolled in school and provided with scholastic materials. The schools, with the help of teachers, ought to create violence-free environments to increase retention and completion rates.”
Three years ago, Shamim start this programme. When she returned to primary school she completed her education with top grades and has now been accepted into her first year of Secondary school education.
She finishes, “my wish is that our caregivers are supported with a grant to be able to improve the economic status of our homes. This will help them to provide us with basic needs.”
When children don’t make it to school, you help us get them back into the classroom and back on track for a bright future.
Africa Educational Trust and the Child Restoration Outreach project helps address the reasons children end up on the street, and give comprehensive support to get them and their families back on their feet.
Hawa thought she couldn’t manage on her own after her husband left. But education helped her support herself and her children.