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street children write about life on the streets of Harare
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
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and a better future is what the children from the streets of
Harare are looking for
Brian Koshoti is one of the hundreds of street children that live
and work on the streets of Harare. Brian grew up in Mutare but when
his parents died he moved in with his grandparents. Tragedy struck
again when his grandmother passed away. Meanwhile as young Brian
mourned the death of his grandmother, his grandfather married a
young woman who had 3 children.
said his new Ďgrandmotherí was mischievous, uncaring and selfish
towards him. One day while his grandfather was away attending a
funeral, Brianís grandmother sexually abused him. But when his grandfather
returned, she told him that Brian had raped her. On hearing this,
Brian was severely beaten by his grandfather. He said, "I had
scars all over my body and I ran away from home." For the past
five years Brian has been living on the streets but he needs help.
children get together to rehearse a play at the Streets Ahead
sad story is one of many in the book entitled A Zimbabwean Street
Story edited and compiled by Valentine Makope a former street
child. Valentine says the book was written for street children all
over the world. "It was written to help people from all walks
of life understand that street children are not vagrants or enemies
but rather that they
are human beings who deserve to be treated kindly and with respect."
to Valentine the main purpose of the book is to ask, "What
can ordinary citizens do to change the lives of street children?"
Zimbabwean Street Story was sponsored by the Embassy of the
Federal Republic of Germany in Harare together with the German Agro
Action and UN Volunteers. It includes personal testimonies from
street children abour where they sleep, sex in the streets, bullying
and what life is like on the street for girls.
included is a section called "How Other People See Us".
The stories in this section were written by members of the Scripture
Union Group of Trust Academy, a college located near the Streets
Ahead Drop-in Centre. Streets Ahead is a registered welfare organisation
that assists underprivileged children and youths aged between 6
and 20 years old who are living on the streets of Harare.
Makufa, Streets Ahead director takes time to speak with the
children at the drop-in centre
Makufa, the Director for Streets
Ahead said his organisationís main objective is to rehabilitate
the children and reunite them with their families. He added that
because this process can often take a long time the children have
access to the drop in centre where they bath, eat and also learn
various activities that include drama, music and soccer. listen
to audio file
asked why the children are on the streets, Mr Makufa said most of
the children experience problems at home. "It is either because
of HIV/AIDS, or because both parents are dead and there is no one
to look after them. So they use the streets to scrounge a living
for themselves, " said Mr Makufa. He added that many of the
children are on the streets because of poverty.
to audio file
Makufa said the children are benefiting greatly from the drop in
centre. "When they come to Streets Ahead we offer them love,
care, concern and a listening ear" listen
to audio file
2005 Streets Ahead managed to reunite 140 children with their families
and they are currently paying school fees and buying uniforms for
200 children in schools. These children are no longer in the streets.
If you would
like to buy a copy of A Zimbabwean Street Story and in so
doing help Streets Ahead, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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