Cheka Sana has been working with and for street children for over a decade in Tanzania, East Africa.

Although reliable figures on the issue of street connected children are hard to obtain due to the volatile and sometimes mobile nature, the UN estimates the number of street children around the world to be in the hundreds of millions.

Recent statistics gathered in six major cities in Tanzania (of Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, and Mwanza) through the head-count of street-connected children funded by the RCA, USAID and DFID, identified thousands of children under the age of 18 living and working on the streets of Tanzanian cities alone.

Of this population (6,393), a worrying percentage was under the age of 10 years (14%), and many (35%) were aged between 11 and 14.

Nearly 80% an overwhelming proportion of female street children and young mothers were engaged in night-time sex work.

Begging, for food, shelter or resource, was common. The report highlighted that through the knowledge and experience of our street workers, a large number of these street-based girls are commonly found in or outside of guesthouses or other locations typical for commercial sex work.

The report recommended further data collection needs to be carried out, with this group in particular, which will be a focus in our Street Born programme in 2021 to 2025

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