Kwetu Faraja Inc., located in Mwanza, Tanzania, was started in 2008 as a grass-roots initiative led by former street children in partnership with an international community development worker/missionary (Executive Director, Lorien Knapp) to provide holistic care to orphans and vulnerable children who were living in the streets of their community. The organization received National registration in 2012 as an NGO in Tanzania and as a 501(c)3 Public Charity in USA (Indiana).
Our organization was born because there was an obvious need in our community, and few organizations truly working to address that need. We observed many groups exploiting vulnerable children and causing greater harm than good. While many NGO's seek to profit from the misfortunes of street children, we seek to serve them with love and encouragement so they can recognize their personal worth, grow into adults who desire to make a difference, and to be the new face of Africa.
Our initial work in 2008 was an outreach program to provide some of the basic immediate needs of street children such as food, clothing, education assistance, counseling, medical care and advocacy. In our first few months of the program we interacted with over 700 different street children. When possible we would return children to live with family members, but we quickly learned that there were children who had no place to go and needed a permanent home. In 2009 we decided to provide a greater level of care for some of the children, so we rented a room for a few boys to live in and we put them into a local school. Very quickly we had children knocking down our door asking for a chance as well. We continued renting more rooms, but recognized that our program was not sustainable. We began looking for other organizations that shared our vision and goals so that we could partner with them, but discovered that our mission was vastly different than the missions of other similar organizations. Merging philosophies for street outreach is a difficult task, so we decided to plow new fields and start fresh.
In 2012 we were finally able to formally register our organization both in Tanzania and in USA. This has opened many new doors for meaningful work to take place. The number of children being reached, and the scope of programs that are being implemented has increased. In addition to having more diverse programs, the quality of the care for our children has become more like a family environment where we offer greater supervision, mentoring, and care.
Kwetu Faraja is a Tanzanian Registered Non-Governmental Organization and an American 501(c)(3) Public Charity with Tax Exempt Status.
Designed by Thor Deegan, Staff Photographer, Web Designer / firstname.lastname@example.org