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Moving Forward: Implementing the 'Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children'

Mkombozi, Tanzania

Focus 1: Participation of children and young people in care decisions and care settings

Mkombozi works with children at risk of migrating to the streets in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions of northern Tanzania. It supports moving away from residential care of street-involved children towards care within families and communities. As a result, it has transformed its original residential facility into a “transition home”.

Mkombozi appreciates the value and impact of meaningful child participation and enabling opportunities for former and current street-involved children and young people to raise their voices and to be heard.

Young people participated in the Baraza la Watoto (Children’s Council) in Arusha Municipality, which has led to the municipal authority recognising issues facing children and young people and finding ways to assist them. Throughout 2010, children also contributed much to Mkombozi’s strategic planning processes through meetings, discussions and reflections. Some of the older children acted as ambassadors and shared their own life experiences whilst discussing the negative consequences of longer term institutional care. In 2010 the annual child satisfaction survey was conducted with children and older youth staying at the transition home.

The survey highlighted communication between social workers and children as an area for development. The results of the satisfaction survey were presented to staff and provided an opportunity for staff to reflect on progress from the perspective of young people.

International Social Service, Oak Foundation, SOS Children's Villages International, unicef, ATD Fourth World, Better Care Network, Family for every child, ngo group for the crc, PEPFAR, RELAF, Save the Children, USAID