14 December 2012

Tanzania: Street Children Increase in Mwanza

PARENTS and guardians should reinvigorate moral decadence as a requisite to curb increasing number of street children in Mwanza City.

The director of Kuleana Children Centre, Mr Mutani Yangwe, said here that some parents and guardians abuse and mistreat their own children. "Experience and recent studies have shown that there is incessant increase of street children which contributed highly by some moral decay in society", he said.

He mentioned severe beating of children, rape and other indiscriminate practices as contributing factors that have made children escape their homes to live in the streets.

Mwanza City is one of the areas in the country that have in recent past witnessed significant increase of street children.

In 2008 for example, there were at least 443 street children in the Mwanza city, while in 2011 the number has gone up to 1,500 children. Kuleana social worker Ms Danna Martins said street children in Mwanza are divided into two groups.

She mentioned the first one as that one involving children, especially boys, who keep on begging during the day, and the second one involves children (girls) who are involved in prostitution during the night in order to sustain their lives.

Mr Yangwe said that his centre has played a significant role to unite the children and their parents. For the past five years Kuleana has been able to reunite at least 70 per cent of the children who used not to live with their parents.

A child at the centre who identified himself as Elisha Elisha said he came to the centre from Shinyanga region. She left home after the death of his father. "Some relatives used to mistreat me and they denied me food," he lamented.

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