Streetborn was officially established in March 2012 and has been running very effectively since its initiation. A number of organisations based here in Mwanza are collaborating to deal with a seriously concerning development which is happening amongst street involved woman and girls here. The collaboration consists of COET- Kuleana, Forever Angels and Adilisha who with background support from Amani Girls are working together to develop a programme in which some of these identified dependants fall into.
Between an age group of 13-20 years old there are an increasing number of girls who are falling pregnant while living and working on the streets. These girls are generally becoming pregnant through sexual abuse from men on the streets, prostitution and or men who within the street community are protecting them from other dangers within their lives on the street.
These girls are incredibly vulnerable and unable to care financially, emotionally and physically for these young children. We aim to work towards providing them with basic levels of support to ensure the mother remains with the child and we can help them as a small family unit to come away from street life. The risks that young babies face in these living conditions are terrible, medical conditions such as dehydration, pneumonia, malaria and malnutrition, drug exposure both during pregnancy, breast feeding and further, and physical dangers from the streets such as traffic. The idea of developing this project is not to remove them from this situation instantly but work with these complicated and confused girls to care for their new children and work towards building a life together.
Initially we aim to provide basic education on caring for such small children, teaching the girls about the dangers that they and their babies face through continuing with drugs, ensuring the girls understand different symptoms which will show the child needs medical attention and ensure the girls know they can come to Kuleana at anytime for medical support.
Streetborn has been extremely successful since it has begun and has managed to help support a significant number of girls and their babies, especially through extremely serious medical and health concerns. Providing these vital medical services to these girls has also been a really effective way of establishing stronger and more trusting relationships with them, creating further opportunities to work with them therapeutically. It will continue to work very closely with the other actors supporting them, to ensure that this therapeutic approach helps them to deal with their traumas and troubles, in addition to helping them look towards a self-sustainable future for them and their babies. It has been assessed that this project is so vital to ensuring that the previous crucial gap is now being met, thus it is working towards improving and expanding its services.