Longing to be loved

Safina Street Network is an outreach service working with vulnerable children and young people in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They tell us one boy’s story. 

Nico, together with his twin sister, were the oldest in their family. He grew up in a small village in the southern highlands of Tanzania, but his childhood was not a happy one. He felt rejected and often would get beaten by his father. At the age of eight he was sent away to live with his uncle to help him work in the fields. But Nico wanted to go to school like other children. One day he stole some chickens from his uncle and ran away to the nearby town. He sold the chickens and bought a bus ticket to Dar es Salaam. That was the beginning of his life as a street boy. He soon met other street children and heard about a centre which helped street children to go to school. He joined the centre and finally started school. At the same time his new friends also introduced him to many other things like alcohol, drugs and sex. Still his greatest pain was loneliness and he longed to be loved and to belong. 

One day he heard the other children talking about some ‘Mamas’ from the Safina Street Network who would meet with street children and tell them about God. He was curious and went along to the next meeting. He liked the singing, teaching and games so he continued to go along. One day God’s word pierced his heart and started him on a journey to really seek God for himself. At a later meeting, he gave his life to Jesus. When the centre he had joined was no longer able to help him with his education, he asked Safina for help. Joining Safina and attending a weekly youth Bible study really helped his spiritual growth. After finishing his secondary education, he studied social work and became the leader of a Christian student group. Today he works as a social worker with Safina, witnessing to many others how God changed his life and filled it with love, hope and purpose. 

Kathleen Quellmalz

Kathleen Quellmalz

Kathleen works with Safina Street Network in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In her role as Director, Kathleen seeks to equip and guide staff in the various areas of the ministry and seek God’s will along with the leadership team for future development.

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