orphans in tanzania
Tanzania currently has a large scale social problem that has been on the rise in recent years, due to poverty, unemployment and lack of birth control practices. There is a large population of children that do not have parental support for a variety of reasons. These include but are not limited to:
These children have either one or two parents that have died. This happens from a variety of reasons. Childbirth, AIDS, poor nutrition leading to illness and subsequent death. Motherless infants are particularly vulnerable.
Abandoned Children (Street Children)
These children have living parents, but for a variety of reasons, have been left to fend for themselves. Young women having illegitimate children and fear of early marriage, divorce, remarriage of widows or widowers where the new spouse rejects the existing child(ren) are all common scenarios where children find themselves without any food, clothing shelter. Cultural practices like FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) can also lead young children to leave their homes.
In this situation, children will be voluntarily given into care because parents are unable to provide adequate food, clothing and shelter due to lack of financial ability. Children will be suffering from lack of nutrition, which often leads to susceptibility to illness.
Addressing the Problem
The government currently does not have the infrastructure or financial capability to adequately address the problem. Work is being done in this area, but the need of these vulnerable children is far outstripping the existing infrastructure. The only Government orphanage is overflowing with children and many children, particularly in rural areas are being left to fend for themselves, which often results in their death.
This situation has been responded to on a private basis by many local and international agencies setting up private orphanages. There has been no alternative. The care provided in these private institutions ranges from excellent to hideous. There is a substantial problem in Tanzania with private orphanages being run without a license or any input from social welfare.
This has led to widespread abuse in these settings of funds that are being raised for “orphans” going into the pockets of the people running these establishments. Children have been underfed, poorly housed and basic education and health needs are not attended to properly. The problem has become so extensive that there have been suggestions that ALL private orphanages should be shut down. This would lead to a catastrophic situation, because good private orphanages have saved countless lives of Tanzanian children.
The Kibaha Children’s Village Centre project was created to address these needs. Not only to provide care for these vulnerable children, but also to act as an example of how this work can and should be done in a private, licensed setting. This project was conceived and has been supported by local Tanzanian people who are well educated and understand the complexities of the local situation.