Bunju Centre for Victims of Trafficking

Rescue Home & Vocational Training Centre – to give hope to young people of Bunju, Tanzania.

The opening of the new Bunju block

2007 UPDATE

On 23rd March 2007, the new building at the Bunju centre -funded by Kiota with help from Peter Zimber ‘s Trust -was officially opened.

Mama Justa, local counillor and Pippa Brown officially open the block

This is the second building in the Bunju complex, which is being used for a project funded by the International Organisation for Migration (part of the UN).

The building is being used as a residential shelter- similar to the other KIWOHEDE centres, but is focusing on victims of trafficking. Victims of trafficking are identified through support from the police, community leaders and charitable organisations, and brought to Bunju for shelter.

bunju-block.jpgIt is in a beautiful, peaceful area surrounded by palm trees with a (distant) view of the sea and, unlike nearby Dar es Salaam, has a pleasantly cool breeze.

The programme works with girls aged between seven and eighteen who have complex needs. Counselling, psycho-social counselling, medical screening and treatment are provided. Some have chronic diseases, including malaria and STIs, and nightmares are common. All of the girls are given HIV/ AIDS counselling and, where necessary, they are referred for anti-retroviral treatment.

Many young victims are encouraged to leave their homes –often with the blessing of their families- having been told that they will be educated and receive a better quality of life. Instead, they are forced into domestic servitude and commercial sex work and sadly, most girls who arrive at Bunju have not completed primary school, and some have never had the chance to attend school at all.

At the Bunju centre, KIWOHEDE provides informal lessons, skills development and vocational training. They have a loom on site so the girls can learn weaving and sell the items they make for a small profit.

Where appropriate, and if it is the wish of the victims, KIWOHEDE’s next step is to work towards the reintegration of the victims with their families and home communities. Counselling is provided for all involved. This is vital if the reintegration is to have a chance of success; the reasons for the trafficking need to be confronted and resolved, in order to reduce the chance of it happening again.

In cases where the family or carer cannot afford to support the victim, KIWOHEDE can provide a support package, so that an income-generating business can be established and the child can be provided for.

KIWOHEDE also liaises with local community leaders and health workers during a follow up period in order to ensure the victim completes school and is not exploited further.

If reintegration is not appropriate or desired by the child, alternatives are sought.

In 2006, KIWOHEDE’s programme helped 69 young girls, in all, but with the opening of the new building (funded by Kiota and in memory of Peter Zimber), the programme’s capacity more than doubles!

Thank you again to all of our loyal supporters.