The root causes behind children fleeing to the streets are complex and multi-faceted and each child has his/her own individual story and background.
However, almost all children go to the streets seeking escape from hunger, abuse, or neglect. Other root causes include: HIV/AIDS, rising divorce rates, the lack of rights for women and children, the prohibitive cost of primary education, and the lack of a functioning social welfare system.
To give an idea of the scale of the issue:
• Population of Tanzania: 37,627,000
• Life Expectancy at Birth: 46
• There are an estimated 2,500,000 orphans in Tanzania and 980,000 of them are AIDS orphans
• 38% of children under five suffer from stunted growth due to lack of nutrition
• An estimated 1,600,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania
• 49% of people live on under $1 a day
All statistics have been taken from Unicef.
One sobering fact that recently came to light is that a census from May 2007 identified over 1,100 street-children on the streets of Moshi and Arusha (the two cities that Amani works in). Amani is one of only two centres that take children in from off of the
street… so the need is great.
For specific examples of reasons why children run to the streets, we recommend reading the children’s individual stories on Amani’s website.
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