When new children come to us, they are mostly undernourished or have years of a lack of malnutrition behind them. Often they have only been fed with roots and maize. Since our children come from socially very criticial situations and all have no parents, the care for them was very poor. The same for hygiene. Some of our children had never seen a toilet or eaten from a table.
With us we have three mealtimes, in critical cases sometimes four.
Many of our children are very small because of resulting development disorders. The delayed development and stunted growth are directly related to poor diet. We see this especially with our Massai children. This ethnic group drinks milk and blood, as do the children. There are at least no growth problems in the early years.
We control for this by making sure that the children have plenty of vegetables and a varied diet by African standards. In addition our drinking water comes from 80 metres underground and is pure and clean.
The children go through a check up on arrival. Most infections and skin diseases are detected at this point. Often the children also have worms. This is all treated; most have yellow and glassy eyes and after two months it clears up; with skin diseases it takes a little longer.
Our children also get chicken pox and other illnesses which are long since under control through vaccination in other countries.
Since 2014 we have been operating professional education in AIDS as well as special training on the theme of hygiene. Before puberty, our children learn how their bodies work, how pregnancies and AIDS can be prevented and how bacteria and germs can affect them.
Sexual abuse is also a health issue. Particularly orphans are more likely to be abused than children with parents. The majority of Tanzanians believe that orphans or even outright children have no rights at all. They smile as they talk about it. Orphans are often dependent on other family members and have to work hard, or they are used – they just do not have any protection. We rely on specially trained social workers who counsel our children if needed, and support our employees.
It’s also part of our work to help people in their villages. The Sunday Clinic was for many the only chance to visit a doctor. We closed this project down because of cost and organisational reasons. In the film you can see a medical operation in a river delta on the coast of Tanzania.
The farm project is designed to improve the children’s care through a healthy diet. In light of the fact that most jobs in Tanzania are in farming and agriculture, the farm provides a chance for children to be later trained in agriculture careers. Consequently we generate long term jobs with the farm project, with which we can stabilise the orphans’ economic situation.
Despite the initial success of our farm, this project is still very new to us, above all working with living animals. Many challenges stand before us.
The farm project is already supported by many donors and associations, but the need is still greater than what we can currently afford.
Please help us further by donating to Streetkids International e.V’s orphanage farm project.