A Story from the Bunju Centre
Although primary education is compulsory in Tanzania, for many it is not that simple. In order for children to attend school, they must have a uniform and, in many schools, shoes as well. Not only does the money for uniform have to be found, but attending school means hours not working, putting a strain on hand-to-mouth existence.
One girl attending the Bungu centre grew up in a rural area in the west of Tanzania with her mother, who is deaf, and her father, who is blind. When a man told them he could take her to town for an education, her parents agrred, believing they were doing right by their daughter.
After a three day journey, with little food and water, she arrived in Dar es Salaam and immediately was put to work as a domestic worker. Bravely, she questioned her trafficker, saying that she had come to go to school, not to work. He told her that they were still sorting out the paperwork. She endured the work for six months, but as there was no sign of her situation changing, she took Tsh200/= from a cabinet in the house she was put to work in, and ran away (Tsh200/= is the cost of a single bus journey).
She climbed aboard a daladala (local bus), told them her story, and asked them to take her to the nearest police station (they didn’t charge her for the journey).
The police called KIWOHEDE, and she has been staying at the Bunju centre since.
During her first conversations with Mama Regina, the co-ordinator of the Bunju centre, she asked if KIWOHEDE could take her to school, as she came to Dar es Salaam to get an education. Her resilience is incredible.
This young woman was thirteen when she came to KIWOHEDE. She is now attending basic education and vocational training classes, and KIWOHEDE hopes to find a primary school place for her soon.