Amani – A Summary
Amani provides homeless children with a safe home, nutritious food, clothing, education, and health and counseling services.
Amani aims to reunite children with their relatives whenever possible and equips their families with the tools they need to be self-sustainable.
Amani is located in Moshi, a medium-sized town in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, East Africa.
Amani was founded in 2001, when it supported 6 children. Today, Amani is housing over 80 children and supports a further 125 children that are now living with relatives. Since its inception, Amani has reunited more than 250 children with their families that no longer depend on Amani’s help.
Amani is a small grass-roots organization. As a small organization staffed primarily by Tanzanians, Amani is in a unique position to effectively address the needs of the local community. Because of its small size, many people develop a personal connection to the Amani kids and staff.
Amani’s administration costs are small; a high percentage of the donations is used directly to help the children. As an example, consider the operating expenses in 2009: 44% Primary Care, 20% Social Work, 17% Education, 8% Accounts & Secretarial, 5% Administration, 3% Fundraising & Travel, 2% Organizational Development, 1% Agriculture.
Amani is a financially responsible organization. It is externally audited on an annual basis and governed by an external Board of Trustees.
The challenges Tanzanians face…and the difference Amani makes…
38% of children are stunted for their age, due to chronic malnutrition. 22% are underweight. 20% (around 4 million kids) live below the food poverty line, meaning their family’s income could not provide enough food to satisfy their minimum nutritional requirements.
→ The children at Amani receive three nutritious meals a day to help them become healthy and active. Children reunited with families that require special assistance receive additional food aid after they leave Amani.
6% of adults aged 15-49 are HIV positive. 730,000 children have been orphaned because of AIDS.
→ Amani’s nurse teaches weekly health classes, where she dispels common myths about HIV and equips the students with facts (she also commonly treats Malaria, TB, and other diseases). In addition, each month volunteer HIV/AIDS teachers come to Amani to give lessons, using creative methods to help the children understand and remember.
Tanzania has one of the lowest percentages of people who have attended secondary school (7%) of any nation. The primary school completion rate is 54%. 55% of boys and 38% of girls contribute to school expenses through labor.
→ Amani provides education: It sponsor hundreds of children at local primary and secondary schools, vocational training centers, and in its own on-site educational program. Amani’s teachers have created a special fast-track curriculum that takes into consideration the unique needs of its kids. Children also learn skills that will unlock opportunities for their futures; such as carpentry, electrical repair, mechanics, or even traditional art and drumming!
Meet some of the Amani Kids
At 7 years old, Babuu is one of the youngest children at Amani. When he was a baby, his mother was murdered. Because his father had left before he was born, Babuu was raised by his grandparents who were very poor and struggled to provide for him. Babuu became malnourished and was eventually brought to Amani where he has since grown into a strong, healthy, and confident young boy. Babuu can frequently be seen running around Amani’s grounds with his friends.
Juliana Joseph, 12, was born on the streets. Neither of her parents could find a job, so they turned to begging, often using Juliana to help them get money. The many years on the street took their toll on her parents, who often treated Juliana with cruelty. She ran away and was rescued by Amani street educators in 2004. Having never gone to school, she initially struggled in class. Amani educators worked closely with her, and she continues to improve. Juliana enjoys jumping rope and playing hand-clapping games with her friends. She attends Standard 3 classes in Amani’s non-formal education program. She loves to sing and dance traditional Tanzanian dances.
10 year old Nasri Ramadhan left home to look for money because his caregiver was neglectful and often failed to feed him. While living on the streets, Nasri earned money by selling scrap metal. Nasri is now part of Amani’s alternative education program and soon hopes to enroll in a local public school. A budding artist in Amani’s art classes, Nasri loves to draw and paint. When not spending his free time in the art room, Nasri can often be found practicing his reading skills in Amani’s library.
Zainabu Amani is 12 years old. One of Amani’s special needs kids, the Social Welfare Department referred Zainabu to Amani. No information about her past or family background is known (hence we gave her her last name of “Amani”). Zainabu attends the nearby Shirimatunda school, which is specialized for children with learning disabilities. She has learned a lot since she began her studies at this school. Zainabu enjoys learning to read and she likes art projects. She laughs a lot and enjoys playing with the other children at Amani.
Baraka, 15, was forced to live on the streets after his parents passed away and he was left alone. He lived on the streets for 3 months before coming to live at Amani. Baraka loves to play soccer and can frequently be found practicing outside in his free time. His dream is to become a professional soccer player one day.