Tuseme Rescue Shelter for Street Boys, Kisongo, Tanzania
And so the last shall be first.
The Tuseme Shelter for Street Boys was created by Tanzanian Dominic Balama in 2007 to protect, care for and raise orphaned and abandoned boys who were surviving on the streets of Arusha. An orphan himself, Dominic is now a lawyer and social worker who has dedicated his professional life to ghting for the rights of vulnerable youth. Tuseme (which means “give a voice” in Swahili) is currently home to 21 boys, ages 8 to 17. The younger boys attend local government schools, and while government schools are meant to be “free,” Dominic must still pay for uniforms, books, school supplies, food, transport, testing and more or the boys will be turned away. For the older boys, Dominic has started an on-site vocational program to teach them such skills as carpentry, welding and mechanics. Once the boys become self-suf cient, they move on to pursue independent lives. Two of Dominic’s original boys are now working as teachers in the Mwanza district of Tanzania; another is a successful businessman (in mechanics) with a growing family of his own; and two more are now working in the Tanzanite mines where they are nancially independent and also are married with children. Dominic also works to educate his community and government leaders, police and social workers about their responsibility to assist orphans and help keep vulnerable children safe.
Unite first connected with Tuseme in 2015, and we have since closely been observing their struggles and their progress. This year we have taken on Tuseme as a formal partner, and our support will include the provision of solar power (for studies after dark—the sun sets ~6:00 PM all year round in Tanzania); academic, social and emotional support for the boys; further construction of the site to support proper security, hygiene and sanitation; and water (once
we secure an adequate source, we will start a reforestation campaign to combat the severe erosion.)