For several years we have given grants to ANCO in Kasulu in Kigoma region so that they can work with street children. They have had some success at returning children to their families or finding new homes for them and helping them to start petty trading.
This year we gave them £2,133 so that they could provide literacy and numeracy classes for an initial period of six months. The children who attended the classes were aged 12 to 18, both girls and boys. Some had never been to primary school; others had dropped out. Classes were held for five mornings each week after which all the children received a nourishing meal.
These children are some of the most disadvantaged in Tanzania. Persuading them to come to classes and to concentrate for four hours is very challenging. Some of them associate being in school with being beaten by teachers, often because they failed to pay fees or turned up without school uniform. We insisted that the teachers hired by ANCO promised never to beat the children. As this report is prepared we are waiting ANCO's evaluation of the six months' classes. Whilst we believe education is one of the routes off the streets and out of poverty we need to see whether ANCO was able to achieve positive outcomes for these children before considering further support.