Tanzania Hekima Association Appeals Collaboration Among Children Stakeholders And Government To Fight Child Trafficking And Abuse In Kagera Region

HEKIMA, a non governmental and non-profit organisation based in Bukoba, Kagera Tanzania has appealed for all children stakeholders including parents and guardians, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs) and the government, to have a strong collaboration in seeing the children trafficking and abuse come to an end.

The call was made by Hekima(a Swahili word meant for Wisdom) C.E.O, Chui Majaliwa, April 12,2023 at Kolping hotel lounge in Bukoba municipality during celebrations of International Day for Street Children, a special day acknowledging the strength and resilience of millions of street-connected children around the world.

This year they are to focus on what makes street-connected children feel safe or unsafe, and what governments and communities can do to ensure that street children are protected from harm.

The celebrations were attended by organisations dealing with children affairs, education, police and Immigration officers, and children working and living in the street.

Majaliwa said their priority is to stand for the safety and security of Children working and living in the street by identifying them, giving them skills, and later connecting them to their families.

He said that there is child trafficking whereby some adults from neighbouring countries do come with children, lying to them that they’ll find them good jobs, but ending up dropping them in town just to become beggars.

When those children come and mingle with locals, among them children under eight, bad habits and behaviours arise to put them at risk.

“There was a time we had children from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Southern Sudan, and we reported them to Immigration Office, and we are glad they gave us good cooperation”, said Majaliwa.

According to him, their organisation’s success up to March this year is that there were 35 family reunifications, 60 families reached, five out of eight children are still in apprenticeship and eight children returned to school.

One of a male child living and working in the street (a name Hekima prefer to use rather than street children, as they were not born by street) name withheld told the participants that in the streets they face big problems as they sleep on shop corridors and in trenches, and the big boys are humiliating them by forcing same sex, robbing them little money they hard earned.

Sgt Dorothea Samwel, Police Gender Desk officer in Bukoba district; said they have been acting according to the law,to treat children who are caught in criminal offences by courtesy and good humour, helping them psychologically, and keeping them busy all the time, and at the end they turn up to be good citizens.

Hellen Rocky, Community Development Officer, who represented Bukoba Municipal Development Director, said the government is working closely with NGOs from registration to monitoring; and assured its support for NGOs which work according to law and regulations, and asked them to see Tanzanians norms and ethics are safeguarded.

By Mutayoba Arbogast


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