Umoza children’s programme is a project under St John of God Hospitaller Services that aims at promoting rehabilitation, wellbeing and holistic development of children operating in and on the streets and vulnerable others within the city of Mzuzu.

The main enrolment of children in the program is through street outreach where a team goes to the streets and find these children. The programme especially targets the Mzuzu Main Market and Luwinga markets where many children are found while some are enrolled because of their vulnerability as siblings of children identified on the streets.

The programme comprises of three components:

  1. Drop-in center
  2. Community outreach
  3. Self help approach to livelihoods enhancement

The Drop in Centre is the first point of call for children identified from the streets. This is where Initial assessments for childen is done. The Children undergo psychosocial assessment and physical assessment. The program also facilitates the reunion of children with their families if they are not coming from Mzuzu. Child Protection is at the core of Umoza Children’s programme activities.

SHORT TERM OBJECTIVES

  • Enhance attainment of basic education and prevocational skills among Umoza Children and their siblings.
  • Facilitate behavioral change in children participating in the project and others on streets of Mzuzu City.
  • Facilitate temporary accommodation, repatriation, and reunion with families of children on and in the streets of Mzuzu coming from distant areas.
  • Facilitate improvement in livelihoods of poor households using the Self Help Group Approach.
  • Promote awareness of Child Rights within Mzuzu City.

TEMPORARY ACCOMODATION AND REPATRIATION

  • We provide temporary accommodation to children identified in the streets from outside Mzuzu before they are reunited with their families
  • We have developed very close working partnerships with Social Welfare Department, Victim Support Unit of Malawi police

RANGE OF SERVICES PROVIDED

  • Life skills Programme
  • Computer Classes
  • Language classes (French and English for Beginners).
  • Personal Hygiene Talks
  • Music and Dance.
  • Educational Trips and Excursions.
  • Counseling (Group and individual therapy).
  • Medical assessments
  • Psychological assessments
  • Social assessments
  • Pastoral care
  • Positive Parenting
  • Human rights education
  • Career Talks
  • Laundry
  • Bathing facilities
  • Food-children prepare & clean up
  • Sports
  • Education Support
  • Remedial Classes
  • Home Management
  • Health Talks
  • Nutrition
  • Supplementary feeding for HIV+ children
  • Play Therapy
  • Memory book.
  • Pre-vocational and vocational training

Umoza team

  • Programmes Coordinator
  • Programme’s Social worker
  • Special needs teacher
  • Community Facilitators
  • Music and Dance Facilitator
  • Care Assistant
  • Computer and Library Facilitator
  • Child Facilitator
  • Psychosocial Counsellor
  • Volunteers