|Binti Maringo Cafe|
Binti Maringo café is situated by Kuleana street children centre and has been used to generate a sustainable form of income to fund the street children centre since 2009. It aims to make Kuleana financially sustainable by donating all profit towards the daily running costs of the centre such as water and electricity bills, contributions to the costs of staff salaries and any other general costs that are feasible such as medical and educational supplies.
In 2011, the project expanded the essential vocational training programme they provide in café services, management and life skills to disadvantaged and street youth. The trainee’s attitude, behaviour and work ethic are closely monitored. They are strongly encouraged to undertake a positive attitude and behaviour in the work place and towards their future opportunities. We provide the youth with guidance and support in order to ensure them with further employment or progressive opportunities once their vocational placement is completed.
It can be extremely difficult and complicated for street involved youth who have spent many years on the street, to agree to or to adjust to living back with their families. It is also age appropriate for them to live independently. This therefore shows that there is a great need to engage with these youth with the provision of vocational training and working towards self-sustainable livelihoods.
In January 2012, Bintis started a free vocational training course, for street involved and other vulnerable youth in the community in Mwanza. The trainees undergo this course for three months, covering subjects such as basic food hygiene, nutrition, business and money management skills, maths, English, market research and CV writing. Both classroom and practical lessons are taught within this time.
On completion of the course, Bintis organises an external internship from the project for each trainee for another period of three months. The project provides them with a basic living salary over the internship. The trainees are then supported on an on-going basis, closely monitoring them to ensure that their external internship and future employment is progressing well.
All trainees of the course have been referred by other organisations working with street involved or disadvantaged youth. This therefore means the trainees have been prepared to an extent for the programme and have shown an active effort of looking towards improving their living situation as well as their future.
The course has a capacity of four trainees within each three month period. Each trainee is additionally supported by the project with medical care, life skills and therapeutic support to help facilitate a transformation within their lives, leaving the life of the streets behind them.
Binti’s also offers services such as micro-finance on a small scale to the trainees and staff member. This could be for reasons such as rent for a a room to stay or to fulfil a business proposal. For example, two of our ex-trainees (now in full time work) needed money to rent a shared room, in addition to a mattress and some other basic household needs. At the time, they both did not have sufficient money to cover these costs. They were however, able to receive a non-interest loan from Bintis, which they have both been able to successfully pay back through returning a small amount on a monthly basis.