Project information

Reintegration of street children in Mwanza

The project seeks to contact children living alone and at risk on the streets of Mwanza, Tanzania and enable them to access a place of safety, engage with education and return to their families, where possible.

June 2012 - May 2014

Charity information: Railway Children

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  • Need


    Our 2008 study found that there were 392 children and youth living on the streets and only 13 had accessed available services. Most came from homes with either single parents or grandparents, and poverty at home was the leading cause for them coming to the streets. Domestic violence was the second most common factor. Over 25% had never attended school, while 45% had dropped out. The children stated that education and family were the means by which they could improve their lives.


    Street based workers will contact children on the streets and build a trusting relationship, encouraging them to engage with the shelter away from the risks of street life, where they can access basic needs and education. Counselling will prepare the children for a return to their families, where possible. Family work will prepare the family for the child’s return and they will be supported with school uniform, educational materials and school fees, to ensure the child can return to education.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To protect children living on the streets from abuse, exploitation and provide a place of safety


    » Outreach workers will build relationships with children arriving new to the streets engaging them with the shelter and basic requirements for survival
    » Older street youth will engage through mentoring and recreational activities while slowly transitioning away from the streets.

    Success will be a reduction in the total number of children living without family support on the streets.

    Aim 2

    To rehabilitate children and young people to enable return to education and family life.


    » Through counselling and education children will be able to heal their trauma and consider a return to family life.
    » Older street youth will access opportunities for income generation activities to enable a move away from the streets.

    Success will be improved levels of children remaining in schools and with familiy.

    Aim 3

    To reintegrate children with their families, through family support in and around Mwanza City


    » Through parenting skills families will build better relationships and prevent reintegrated children and siblings from taking to the streets
    » Economic support and income generation training will allow parents to support their children back into education.

    Success will be improved family relationships with reduced instances of children migrating to the streets.

  • Impact


    Violence in families leads to negative life results and makes repetition of violence more likely in later generations. This project will bring about changes in parental behaviours and thereby break cycles of violence and also poverty, allowing healthy development of children and youth.

    This in turn will decrease the numbers of children taking to the streets to survive and dropping out of education, resulting in individuals who contribute in a positive way within society.


    There is a risk that children will not be able to return to their families. In this case children will be referred to longer term care. In addition, there is a risk that children or parents will not be able to engage with rehabilitation due to stigma or emotional, psychological or mental health issues but this will be mitigated through counselling and the skill of project staff to engage them in the process.


    Our partners submit regular progress reports to Railway Children and we also undertake biannual project visits.
    Our website includes regular news updates and blogs about our work. We also communicate with our supporters through enewsletters to keep them informed.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £143,144

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,160 Street Outreach Street based outreach workers will engage children and youth living on the streets
      £17,442 Shelter/Safe Space Provides a place of safety and access to education, counselling and basic needs
      £58,246 Reintegration Family strengthening and income generation
      £7,410 Education School Uniforms, school fees and educational equipment
      £11,562 Empowerment Youth business skills training and mentoring
      £33,324 Overheads Monitoring, Management and admin costs
  • Background


    Mwanza City is the second largest city in Tanzania after Dar es Salaam. With an urban population of 1.2 million it is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, and is the capital of the wider Mwanza region. In our 2008 study we found that 392 children and youth were living on the streets, with only 13 of them having accessed available services.


    Children and youth living alone on the streets will benefit from access to shelter, education, vocational training and family reintegration, where possible. Children and youths on the streets make up some of the approximately 5% nationally that are currently not enrolled in school and the many who drop out.
    The families of reintegrated children will be supported through parental skills training, strengthening family relationships, and preventing other siblings taking to the streets.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Railway Children has been working with stakeholders in the region since 2010, to create an integrated response. This enables us to utilise their local knowledge, but to offer our technical expertise and training to build their capacity for the benefit of more children and youth. We collaborate with local government departments, police, schools and community leaders to ensure that awareness is raised of the issue and that best practices are shared.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Adilisha will conduct street work and prepare both children and families for reintegration, through counselling, education and economic support.

    Amani Girls Home (AGH)

    AGH will provide residential care for those girls from the street, whilst preparing them and their families for reintegration and education.

    Caretakers Of The Environment

    COET will provide residential care for boys whilst they are being rehabilitated through counselling and education to return to their family.

Help us to reach children living on the streets

Help us to reach children living on the streets


Emergency healthcare for a child on the streets