A SHORT HISTORY OF SAFINA STREET NETWORK

   

In 1996 and 1997 God brought together a small group of people from different churches who in one way or another had encountered with street children.

They asked themselves: "What does Jesus want us to do?"

 In 1997 they organized a Christmas Celebration for them and 14 young people came forth to ask God to  change their lives.

From this time on they met every Saturday afternoon at the sports ground of Upanga Primary School in Dar es Salaam. Within a year the group grow up to 100 young people. 


After several failures to reunite young people with their families and support them with school the thought of opening a Center and Foster Family Home emerged.

 Since the beginning we decided on Foster Family Homes rather than Institutional Children´s Home because we believed that these children needed parental care, role models of good fathers and mothers and a place they could call home. We discovered that many of them were on the streets because of several reasons like; parent  divorce, conflicts with step parents, being rejected by their own parents and death of parents. In the same way poverty, alcohol addiction, witchcraft, abuse and child labour has caused many to run away from their homes.

 In 1998 we opened our first Foster Home and we continued to meet with those still living on the streets three times a week for counselling, medical care and teaching. In 2002 we opened our first Drop-In Center at Shabaan Robert Street in Dar es Salaam and also got officially registered as Safina Street Network. (Safina is a Swahili word for an Ark.)


In 2004 we opened our first branch in Dodoma region. Our aim was to be close by and assist children, who returned to their families and to make sure they would continue with school together with providing counselling and support to their parents and relatives. Up to this day our branch in Dodoma supports over 100 children in this way. In the following years of 2007 and 2009 we also opened branches in Singida and Iringa regions for the same reason. Our branches also help to reach children at an early stage before they get used to street life or decide to go to Dar es Salaam. 


Today Safina takes care of 73 children and youth in 8 Foster Family Homes as well as over 192 children and youth, who returned and live in their own relatives. All of these children are in school starting with kindergarten until college. Our aim is to help them to stand on their own feet and to mature physically, emotionally and spiritually into a responsible young person. 


Up to this day Safina workers reach out to those still living on the streets. Their aim is to build friendships and help them to reach a point of decision to leave the streets. In 2016 Safina was able to buy land in Morogoro in order to build a Vocational Training and Adult Education Center. This center shall help young people who are too old to return to the normal public schools or who dropped out of various reasons. We thank God for his goodness and who enabled us from the beginning up to this day. To HIM we give Glory and Thanks.