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Safina Street Network is an outreach service working with vulnerable children and young people in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Safina aims to help these children come into a relationship with Jesus Christ as well as assisting them with shelter, food, medical treatment, education and life skills. We asked a few of the children and young people some questions about themselves and their lives:
How has Safina affected your life?
Suma (aged 8): When I came I could not write and read but now I know.
Saidi (aged 13): Safina is taking care of my needs like food, clothes and a home but also helped me that I can go to school now. They also helped me to know Jesus.
Daniel (Aged 16): When I came I could not read but now I go to school. Safina also helped me to know God more and more and gave me a desire to help others when I am grown up. I also learned to work and help with different tasks at home together with my fellow brothers.
Elisha (aged 23): I thank Safina for all the spiritual, physical and educational support I have received over many years.
Tanzania is an east African nation sharing borders with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. It’s the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as boasting vast open plains and long sandy beaches. Tanzania is a land of beauty and diversity, with the people of Tanzania belonging to some 125 different people groups, each with its own language and culture.
As well as the beautiful scenery though, there are struggles. Over 40% of the population of the population of Tanzania is aged 14 or below. Approximately 5.6% of the population are living with HIV/Aids and 36% of Tanzanians currently live below the international poverty line. Tanzania also plays host to over 500,000 refugees, mainly from their neighbouring countries, which is more than anywhere else in Africa. It is also home to an estimated 437,500 street and working children.
What are the things you like doing the most?
Suma: To play with my friends and to read the Bible.
Saidi: To play with others, to tell others about God and to help people.
Daniel: To play football and to sing in the choir.
Elisha: Praise and worship, outreach to others in need, to read the Bible and other books
What things don’t you like?
Suma: Quarrels, fighting, to be challenged to do bad things.
Saidi: Bad peer pressure/influence, fighting, arguing.
Daniel: Peer pressure, stealing, lying.
Elisha: I really hate sin and in particular hypocrisy, lies, fighting and gossip.
What is your favourite food?
Suma: Rice, ugali [stiff maize porridge] – I like any food.
Saidi: Ugali, potato fries, rice with peas in coconut sauce.
Daniel: Casava, potatoes, ugali, rice and meat, roasted maize.
Elisha: Fish, chicken, meat with ugali or rice.
What do you want to be when you are older?
Suma: I want to help people – children, grandmothers and grandfathers.
Saidi: I want to be a pilot but also help Safina.
Daniel: I want to be a cook/chef.
Elisha: I want to be an auditor but also help the community.
How can we pray for you?
Suma: For God to make me strong and provide for my needs.
Saidi: For God to give me wisdom.
Daniel: For God’s help in reaching my goals, to help me to be a blessing for all people.
Elisha: For a clean heart, wisdom and deeper fellowship with God.