There are about 30 boys aged 10 to 16 years living in the streets of Kasulu in Kigoma region. The reasons for leaving their villages include the deaths of parents and family members, poverty and physical abuse. I met them in March together with the leaders of a local group called ANCO who try to meet the basic needs of the boys when they are sick or very hungry. They do not go to school. Sometimes a small amount of money is all it takes to enable a boy to return to his village or to join another family. Clean clothes, a primary school uniform, a mattress, a mosquito net and bus fares for the child and an ANCO carer can enable a home to be found. We awarded a grant of £600 to support this approach with several boys. Progress will be carefully monitored to see if the approach could help more boys to get off the streets.
The emphasis will be on finding members of their extended families or communities who are willing to offer them a home. Small sums are needed to transport them to their relatives, provide them with new clothes and support the new arrangements with things such as a mattress and mosquito net.
Obadiah, the organiser of ANCO in Kasulu, has sent photographs of the first three street boys he has helped to return home. He has used our small grant to buy clothes and mattresses for the boys and has given them money to begin petty trading.