Amani’s team of street educators hit the streets of Moshi town and the nearby city of Arusha every nights, meeting with the hundreds of children who sleep in gutters, bath in polluted streams and beg and work for food.
The purpose is to connect with homeless children and let them know that there is a place where they can go to find safety, good food, medical care and an education.
One way our street educators meet homeless children is through their connections with shop keepers, taxi drivers and older homeless people: “informants” who update them when a child has just arrived on the streets.
The sooner we can identify and talk to a child who’s recently come to the streets, the greater the chance that child can be rescued from the physical and emotional suffering of life on the streets and returned to a normal childhood.
A major part of a street educator’s job is to build trust and an atmosphere of understanding with the children, many who have come from places where the adults in their lives abused their trust and hurt them. They do this by playing games, telling stories and taking the children places where they can wash their clothes and themselves.
Also, because Amani has been helping children on the streets for years, the street educators have a lot of credibility there, and the children hear from others that they are their friends.