HOW IS THE LIFE IN HEDARU AND KILIMANJARO IN GENERAL?
Boys and girls who live and work on the street are vulnerable to wide and extreme violations of their rights.They have difficulties their accessing basic services and are verbally,physically and sexually abused.Few trust adults many perpetuate abuse on their weaker peers.Although these boys and girls may have of skill related to survival and informal income generation,these strength remain unarticulated and unrecognised by the mein stream society.
This is combined with the fact that few of them have benefited fom sustained formal education,means that these children generally find it difficult to earn more money legally.Faced with this situation many are forced into crime and confrontation with the general public"like those who are brain washed,trained to sucrifice their life as terrorists for fulfilling the desire of a particular group of adults"significant numbers of these boys and girls seek temporary relief from their situation through substance abuse,they are socially excluded,highly visible,mobile and icreasing in number.They are unable to access basic services including school,which generate further problems and demands on already overstretched social services and criminal justice system as the children age,they run increasing risk of HIV/AIDS and conflict with the law.
Why does this happen?
A child departure from home is seldom sudden,despite common conceptions to the contrary.Either it usually takes the form of series of steps in which individuals find out about the urban environment,investigate work opportunities and make contact with homeless children similarly,the factor promting departure is less commonly as a single event than is often thought rather,it is often a combination of stressors on different causal level
1.IMMEDIATE,The reason why a child may leave home and go to work or leave on the street could be a sudden drop in family income,loss of support from an adult family member due to illness,death or abandonment or episode of domestic violence.
2.UNDERLYING.Chronic improvement,cultural expectations(such as the idea that aboy should go to work on the street as soon as he is able) desire of the consumer goods or the lure of the city
3.STRUCTURAL.Factors such as development shocks,structural adjustment,regional inequalities and social exclusion.This multiplicity of levels means that few children are able to perceive all the cicumstances that contributed their decition to leave home.The reason given by a child on the day of leaving home may any way quite different to those they offer three months later after having rationalized his/her situation and their actions.
WHAT CAUSES THE CHILDREN OF KILIMANJARO TO BE IN SUCH A MISSERABLE LIFE?
Through various researches conducted by HELISEA the fact shows that poverty increases familial pressure. Which can result in frustration, domestic violence and alcolism. This in turn exacerbates income and non-income poverty within the family. It is this cycle of poverty in its widest sense that serves to exclude families and children from traditional social support networks and ultimately pushes children and youth to migrate from their places to urban centers specifically,community members(participating in the interview conducted by HELISEA said the following;
''income poverty is caused by a lack of education and opportunities prevailing social attitudes to women and the poor exacerbate,this poverty cause frustration and anger,which in many cases manifests in alcolism.This then exacerbates incomepoverty,but also increases dyfunction by catalysing domestic violence corporal punishment an abuse within the home government,in Kilimanjaro region there is also a creeping insinuation that poverty is caused by deficit within the family concerned( that they are somehow to blame for it) This is causing impatience and less torelance amongst teachers,school committees and community members for consequence of poverty amongst children and further marginalization of poor children and their families from traditional support mechanism within the community.For many poor families and children the only resort to escape such a vicious cycle is to leave the community and migrate to the street. Must be understood that the reason children migrate to the street in Kilimanjaro and Hedaru in particular include immediate,underlying and structural factors;
1. IMMEDATE CAUSATION; Helisea in Kilimanjaro particulary in Hedaru village ha identified that the causation of child migration to the street is conflict,it is the factor within the home environment that frequently pushes children to run away and is endemic in their lives on the streets.
2.UNDERLYING CAUSATION; In Hedaru and Same district
Underlying factors include the impact of rural poverty on the family unity,marked by fathers leaving the family home to look for work and subsequent deeping of family poverty.The break down of familial relationships in urban settings,marked increasingly single parenthood,children birthed out of marriage and death of parents and care givers.The break down of extended family relationships marked increasingly by single parents engaging in risk behavious(eg alcoholism,prostitution)and/or working unsuccessfully to try to ends meet,but leaving children un supervised during the day.The flux of urban migration marked increasingly by growth in''squatte or slum''settlements that are characterized by severe overcrowding.illness,poverty and violence.
The rapid population increases,unresponsive employment market,resourced educational system,and increased pressure on peasants and increasingly un economic smallholdings in the rural sector.
THE SITUATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY.
The August 2002 Population and Housing Census carried aquestion on disability.The official results are not yet known.However,according to World Health Organization's formular of 1 in 10 being persons with disabilities,Tanzania with the population (2002) of 34,569,232 is estimated to have 3,346,900 people with disabilities distributed as follows:
-Physical impaired 28967932
-Visually impaired 27933363
-Hearing impaired 20691380
-Intellectually impaired 8276552
-Multiply impaired 4138276
Globalization,indebtness and changes in the world economic order has greatly affected the social and economic life of the majority of people.In Tanzania the unfavourable economic situation has affected the availability of such services as health,education, and employment opportunities.The most affected however are people with disabilities particulary in the following areas:
Despite the efforts to prioritize immunization to children,health services are by and large inaccessible to the majority of people particulary to people with disabilities.
Most disabilities result from,among others poor health conditions,lack of immunization against disabling diseases and inadequate care of expecting mothers.Diseases of expecting mothers and birth complications may cause disabling conditions to the mother or the child.Mother and child health programmes greatly reduce the incidence of disability in the community.Widespread poverty amongst disabled people and their families limit them from from accessing required technical aids which would assist them to easily reach health facilities.As a result the majorty of people with disability particulary in the rural areas are unable to access health services.
2.EARLY INTERVENTION; There is a need for early identification of children with disabilities.Early identificaton followed by appropriate intervention has a chance of eliminating occurence of disability or minimizing its impact later in life.Ufortunately Tanzania does not have a national programme for early intervention which would have assisted the identification of children with disabilities in their respective communities.The fact that parents still hide their children with disabilities pushes them further away from accessing appropiate services.
3.MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Various social and economic hardships are known to have caused mental health problems to sizeable number of people.Apparently the life situation of the sufferers is dangerious to themselves and those arround them.Besides no agency seems to be responsible for their identification treatment and care.
4.PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES and HIV/AIDS
People with disabilities have similar sexual desire as the non-disabled and are equally affected by pandemic.Unfortunately awareness campagns against thespread of diseases exclude disabled persons.Most disabled persons are poor and have little education to enable them access information on HIV/AIDS.The available campagns against the desease are not disability freandly,for example all written information is in ordinary print and non in Braille for the visual impaired.Likewise spoken information is not simultenously translated into sign language for the benefit of hearing impaired.Lack of technical aids generally is a drawback to most people with disabilities as it limits their chances of accessing infomation on HIV/AIDS and thus being more prone to infection for the lack of knowledge.
Society's prejudice against children with disabilities is known to have psychologically affected their ability to realistically cope with their environment.Much as education is essential for the development of a child's potentialities,some parents still pereive children with disabilities as burden and opt not to send them to school.
Education system in the country does not allow for equal access for children with disabilities.Almost all school facilities at all levels are inaccessible.Teacher education and school curriculum as wel do not incorporate the needs of disabled persons.As aresult of the above children with disabilities enrolled for primary one is less than one percent.This figure is lower in secondary schools and higher learning institutions.
Acquisition of skills is an important pre requisite in the life of a person with disability.Skills leads to employment and therefore,self-sufficiency and and independent living.Despite this reality most skills training facilities are inaccessible to people with disabilities.In addition cost sharing policy limits the majority of would be trainees who cannot afford the same.Skills training institutions for people with disabilities lack the capacity to train competent individuals who can compete in the open labour market.
The members and churches were able to donate and successfully bought 20acres of land and established the environment for consrtuction,Helisea volunteer are ready in the site to Helisea's dream come true''We are happy that in the near by future we will have much more experience even if we face a lot of problems now.
The constructors have now designed classrooms and domotories according to the piece of land we have, it is a very hard work when we have just volunteers who are not so much experienced.However Helisea welcomes volunteers of all nationalities,religion,races and creeds and is open to different levels of skills and experience in variety of fields including(but not limited)social work,counselling,nursing,HIV awareness,education curriculum development treining,reserch and communication.We also need help in fundrising to help us prepare and launch campaigns to rise fund for our construction site located at Hedaru village and volunteers for fundrising events.