Last updated one year ago
The ‘Mfanyakazi’ project has been working with children through school outreach programs using Happy and Sad Opinion Letters together with the ‘JUU’ club to raise awareness on how to report, detect and prevent Child Trafficking incidents in their community and ensure they raise their voices against violence through calling the National Child Helpline (116).
As part of ensuring that we reach the project’s goal we facilitated an Inter-school sports bonanza at Ilongero ward as a means of getting children from different areas together to learn how to spot and report Violence Against Children (VAC) and we wanted these children to interact and have fun together. We also took the opportunity to build the community’s awareness on the National Child Helpline (116) as a reporting mechanism for VAC cases including Child Trafficking for domestic work since most of these cases either go unreported or are solved at the home front.
The two-day tournament titled #TheMfanyakaziCup involved 5 primary schools; Ilongero, Mwakabiji, Mwahango, Madamigha and Sekou Touré primary school who got together to compete for it. It took about 6 matches and the children were ecstatic, genuinely thrilled and definitely played to win, which was a sight to see. The participation and collaboration between teachers and government officials made the event easier to implement for the community and children had gone without interactive sport events like this one for so long, hence their enthusiasm.
The first day of the bonanza brought in the district’s sports, arts and culture officer who passionately spoke on the importance of sports for children in the community but also how best parents could take point in getting to know their children’s hobbies and talents. Teachers together with the Ward Education Coordinator took time to emphasize on Peace, Love and Unity amongst community members and the children themselves. The teams were divided into two groups and played four matches. The team that scored the most goals in the play-offs got a chance to play in the finals for the cup.
The second day was filled with even more excitement, it was final’s day and our guest of honour, the Regional Social Welfare Officer (RSWO) Ms. Shukrani Mbago gave a heartfelt speech on the importance of community and positive, constructive parenting with her slogan “Child at first sight” reminding us to always put children first.
‘Whatever we do in our daily activities and at home we should always think of our children, how we treat them and teach them to be up-coming parents and our future caregivers, always children should be given a priority in matters in the community especially in promoting their rights. Together we should raise our voice as C-Sema has given us a platform (116) to speak and report all incidence of violence in the community including any signs of child trafficking for domestic work’ – Ms Shukrani Mbago (RSWO).
After this impassioned speech from the RSWO, the matches ensued in pursuit of the team that would win the highly sought after ‘Mfanyakazi Cup’. As the games commenced other children were also given a chance to happily showcase their talents.
Later on, one of the head teachers on behalf of his peers spoke on the event’s turn out and expressed how thrilled and impressed they were by the bonanza and encouraged the children to be bold and report cases of VAC via the Helpline as well as the local frontline service providers in their communities. It was wonderful to watch the winning team take home their cup while the rest of the children in the other teams (1st and 2nd runner-up) received branded team jerseys and soccer balls.
The children were happy to receive their prizes from the different esteemed guests and were inspired to work even harder not only in their academics but also in developing their talents. We strongly believe that this event was fruitful and the children as well as the community were empowered to protect each other for they now know what mechanisms to use in order to do so.
This project is co-implemented with BRIS, the Swedish Childline with financial support from Forum Syd.
This story was compiled by the #Mfanyakazi Field Team and written by C-Sema’s Media Team.