Moshi — THE Moshi-based Mkombozi, an organization that works to help children and youths grow in mind and spirit, values innovation because positive change for children depends on ideas and events that transform the way people think, it was learnt here.
A report which was made available to the 'Daily News' highlights that through innovation 400 youths were reached through Mkombozi's street interventions.
In recent years, over 140 youths including school children participated in a sports day organized by the organization, which is one of the leading child-focused agencies in northern Tanzania, working with over 1,000 vulnerable children and families a year in Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions.
"Mkombozi worked with local leaders in earmarked wards to form Child Protection Committees," says the report, adding that some boys have completed training in Street Business Toolkit.
Mkombozi is also involved in several researches such as the one carried out in 2009 on a national survey on children who live and work in the streets of seven city centres, led by the Ministry of Community Development Gender and Children as well as the Consortium for Street Children.
Mkombozi also participated in a research by Railway Children that aims to capture the experience of children's life in the streets of Tanzania and Kenya.
Lastly, Mkombozi has been working on a project on whether its programmes increase children's resilience, that is their ability to cope and do well in life even though having had to face difficulties.
A survey on people's understanding of children who live in streets made Mkombozi suspect that there was lack of awareness in the community on how many children abandon their parental homes due to abuse or squabbles in the families or lack of proper attention by their parents.
Many people seem to think that children who are in the streets are the responsibility of the government and various religious organizations to get them off the streets and re-unite them with their parents or guardians.