Serving street children

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Rahel Hämmerling is currently studying at the Cornerstone College of Intercultural Studies in the Netherlands. For her internship she chose to work in Tanzania with the Safina Street Network:

Stepping out of the aeroplane I was suddenly in another country and another culture. Following the crowd in front of me through passport control and baggage collection, I finally stepped out of the airport and was overwhelmed by memories from the Philippines: “Oh… how I missed the humid air…the sound… and especially the smell.” But this time I was in Tanzania.

Return to Africa

I was born in West Africa, the Republic of Ivory Coast, and my heart’s desire as a child was to go back to Africa. However, after my studies, God had other plans and I ended up in the Philippines. Now I am studying in the Netherlands, I chose an internship working with street children in Dodoma, Tanzania.

I had a great time there – even though it was only short and the time passed by so quickly. I was blessed to get to know people in Tanzania, who are really friendly, polite, joyful, and who welcomed me so warmly. It was also a real blessing to get to know the children and young people from Safina Street Network, even though it was sad to hear all their stories. I heard about how they ended up on the street, how family members rejected them and left them, how hurt they are and how they grow up without love and without any affection. But at the same time it was encouraging seeing the joy of the children despite the hardship in their lives and their broken families. God is good!

The first week I just observed and joined in the activities with the children – trying to help out wherever help was needed. But later on I had the opportunity to teach English. This was quite challenging since all the children were in different levels of primary and secondary school. But God is good and even though I don’t like teaching he gave me joy in it!

I pray that God will continue working in the lives of the children of Safina Street Network and that everything they hear there will grow in their hearts and bear fruit. It is my prayer that they may get to know their Father in heaven who truly cares for them.

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