Soup Kitchen and Community Centre, Ipilili, Nzega, Tanzania
One of the most pressing and heartbreaking problems facing Tanzania is child homelessness. There are over 800 street kids living on the streets of Nzega, orphaned because of AIDS or abandoned by desperate parents. In many cases they are traumatised and have had to survive by fending for themselves in a situation which can only be described as hopeless.
Their lives are bleak, with a future of ignorance and poverty ahead of them. They are often viewed as a threat to society and suffer from violence and abuse, chronic malnutrition and stunting, have difficulties accessing medical services and are vulnerable to substance use.
The AKIN Soup Kitchen and Sports Ground Project is intended to address some of the problems these poor children have to face by providing them with a place to get at least one hot meal per day and also somewhere they can find relief from their daily drudgery and have some fun.
The children living on the streets of Nzega are scattered over a wide area and it is therefore difficult to be able to keep track of them and provide them with some basic needs. This project is designed to attract them to one central facility where it will be possible not only to feed them but also to begin to give them a basic education and free medical check-ups.
Our vision is to have the capacity to feed all 800 plus children, everyday. That there be clothes for them to wear, medical treatment and medicines when they need them, an opportunity for a basic education, a place where there are adults and role models for them to have a relationship with and a place for them to have fun. We also want to build some accommodation, so that those most vulnerable will have a place to stay.
We have developed a sustainable model for this to happen. The next phase of our project involves building a sports ground that is not only for the children to use, but that provides an amenity for the entire community. We envision it being used by local schools, and we want to encourage villages to set up football and netball leagues. And by charging all those who use it, we believe we will raise enough money to pay for the food for the soup kitchen.
In other words, Ipilili is designed to be a self-sufficient community project.
We are proud to announce that we opened the doors of the soup kitchen to a limited number of street children in December 2014, and we are able to provide clothes and a hot meal for these children every day. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
We are currently fundraising to secure and equip the sports ground, expand the number of children we can feed on a daily basis and look to start refurbishing the first dormitory accommodation block.
We have a target of £40,000 that we need to raise to enable this to happen. Could you help?
£15 buys a football
£35 buys a box of exercise books for the class
£200 feeds a child for a year
£200 buys a pair of netball posts