Haposawa stands up for the children


Research conducted by Shirika la Kusaidia Watoto (SAWA) in 2010 on the understanding of the public regarding the National Children’s Policy in Mtwara region, revealed that 98 per cent of residents know nothing about the policy and have never seen it before. This encouraged the organization to start the Haposawa newsletter to establish awareness on the issue.

The first issue of Haposawa newsletter came out in July 2010 and a lot of achievements have been registered since its launch, especially the community’s appreciation of the organisation’s efforts. Nurudini Nhuva, the director of SAWA says he is happy that people appreciate and support SAWA. He said they have received a lot of feedback from people in Mtwara and other areas where Haposawa is distributed.

According to Nhuva, the community recognises the newsletter which has a lot of information to be shared regarding the children’s policy and how to implement it at the community and national level.

The first issue of the newsletter featured the story of Abdallah Charles, 10, who is disabled.  Abdallah had never attended primary school because his mother Mwajuma Seif could not carry him everday to school. So the parents decided to keep him at home. His father Charles Noel said he could not afford to buy a wheelchair for his son and had been unsuccessful in his efforts to seek help from different people.

“I want to go to school like other children, I want to be like them, but unfortunately I do not have the means and my mother cannot carry me every day to school, I need help from the community,” Abdallah was quoted in the article.

After the story was published in Haposawa, a few weeks later Abdallah’s dream of going to school became a reality when he was given a wheelchair by the Community Social Welfare department in Masasi. Presenting wheelchair to Abdallah, Deputy Community Social Welfare Officer Mkude Thomas, said they had responded after reading about Abdallah from Haposawa.

Many changes have been observed after the first issue which was distributed in Mtwara regions and nearby areas. People started to understand problems facing children in the community and also the chance to know national children’s policy.

 After a story was published about a story of a special school in Masasi that caters for boys and girls who had difficulties in their education, street children came to the newsletter’s offices asking about procedures on how they can enroll and be able to study again. So far, three former street children have joined the school.

“We want to thank the Foundation for Civil Society for their support  in producing this newsletter,” Nhuva said. “SAWA is looking forward to producing more copies with significant information so that our goal of educating the public on the Children’s Policy and problems facing them in the society is achieved.”

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