Tanzania has the 10th largest youth population in the world, with 66% of the population being under the age of 25. Of this youth population, 17.3% are between 15-24 years old. Like any country, there is a wide range in socioeconomic status, however it is estimated that over 20% of Tanzanian's live on less than $1 a day. Poverty is one of the top reasons children and youth turn to the streets. Tanzanian streets are home to roughly 437,500 children and youth. This is a modest estimate due to the migratory nature of this population.
Street-connected youth can be described in two categories; those that are on the streets 'part-time' and those that are on the streets 'full-time'. Part-time street-connected youth have a home they can return to, however they spend their days on the streets trying to find a way to earn an income. Full-time street-connected youth eat, sleep, work and play on the streets; they have no safe home to return to. Our Street Outreach Program works with both part- and full-time street-connected children and youth.
Our Street Outreach Program brings arts-based vocation training and life skills development directly to the streets. This allows our students to easily partake in the training we offer. Many street-connected youth sell bags at the market, collect metals and/or bones to later sell, or help the local buses collect passengers. By providing programming on the streets, interested students can take a break from their work to participate in programming, and quickly return to work when they are finished.
Through this Street Outreach program we hope to make a positive impact to decrease the amount of children and youth on the streets. By providing informal classes to develop practical skills, we hope that our program attendees will learn skills that will facilitate becoming self-sufficient and transitioning off of the streets.
To learn more about our Street Outreach Program or to find out how you can help, please get in contact with us!