Oasis Tanaka, Zimbabwe
Girls, boys and young people living on the streets of Zimbabwe are particularly vulnerable. With few opportunities to work for money, many resort to begging, stealing or prostitution. They are susceptible to negative influences, and often become involved in substance abuse, fall pregnant at a young age, contract sexually transmitted infections or find themselves in abusive relationships.
Together with our local partner, Oasis, we empower young people living on the streets of Harare by providing counselling, rehabilitation, ‘life-skills’ and vocational training, to help them brighten their futures.
Our project provides the tailored support they need to leave the streets, re-enter formal education, gain skills and find alternative sources of sustainable income to provide for themselves and their families safely. Through the Street Associations model, we also create supportive and economically viable self-help associations for young people.
We partner with Oasis in Zimbabwe on our pioneering Oasis Skills Training project, which equips vulnerable girls in Harare with tailoring and business skills over a twelve week period, to provide them with a safe way to earn a sustainable living.
How we make a difference:
- We work closely with Oasis to understand the local context, to develop community-owned responses, and to share knowledge and solutions from other places in which we operate.
- We offer holistic support to girls aged 16 and over, who are living and working on the streets of Harare. We help to address their social and health challenges and identify those who can re-enter formal education or develop skills to earn a sustainable income.
- We offer emotional and social support, including counseling, to increase their resilience to cope with their own situation, and we make referrals for any specialised treatment needed, such as for substance abuse or domestic violence. Tanaka will run camps out of the street environment.
- We give logistical support to help young people leave the streets, facilitating transport to places of safety. If they are eligible to return to formal education, we help with this transition.
- We provide vocational training to the older girls, who were unable to finish school, in order to develop their skills and increase their employability. This helps them become financially independent. We run additional short courses for some girls who have been living on the streets, to give them the skills and confidence needed to earn a living away from the streets.
- We conduct outreach at sleeping bases where large populations of youths gather, building relationships and gaining trust in a volatile environment where young people need support.
- For older youths we create and support Street Associations, equipping them with ‘life skills’ to deal with drugs and substance abuse.
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Personal accounts from the children, young people and communities in Africa that we’ve had the privilege of working with, show extraordinary strength and human spirit.
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We are proud to be working with 27 project partners, across 217 communities, to support and empower young people for the long-term.