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The objective behind

... is to "establish alternatives to living in the street for young homeless girls, by offering a safe-place while individual strategies are worked out and implemented" and in this way preventing child prostitution and offering marginalized girls and young women a better future.

But what characterises a street girl?
How does one determine which criteria to apply for accepting girls to KWETU?
This is no easy task for the staff as some few selected life stories of KWETU girls below will show.

The girl is 12 years old. Both parents have died. "I have been the last born of six children. None of my siblings went to school...they all left to town, looking for employment. Only I was sent to school...I know, where my two sisters are, but I don't know where my three brothers are... My father owned a big farm. But after he died our uncle and aunt took the farm for their own benefit. I was in Std. III when my aunt told me that I had to work on the farm, to earn my food. She did not give me school requirements and I had to leave school because I had no uniforms, pens, books and I could not pay the fees. That is why I thought to follow my sisters who are working in town - one is a bar-maid and my other sister is a house girl - so that I could be employed and get money for my daily use..... But when I came to town, I met the people from KWETU, who brought me to Mbagala. I have started school again.... now in Std. IV and I am very happy and thankful....

The girl is 8 years old. The mother is a commercial sex worker, the father is not known. Mother and daughter lived in one room. Whenever the mother had a customer, the daughter had to leave the room. The mother was beating her very often. One day, when the mother had beaten her badly, neighbours asked KWETU staff whether they could help her. The girl was admitted at Mbagala. In the beginning she wanted to leave Mbagala and to meet her boyfriend. But after intensive counselling, she has settled at Mbagala and she is now enrolled at school into Std. I. "My mother was always beating me...even before I did bad things with my boy friend....she was beating me with a stick....most of the time without any reason. Sometimes she was taking me to the police where I was punished. Very often she did not give me food...whenever my mother had a visitor, I had to leave the room and to stay outside. That is where I found my boyfriend. I used to be with him during the night and we did bad things with each other...when my mother got to know about my boyfriend, she started to beat me so much....I was crying and neighbours came and helped me...I do not want to go back to my mother! Because she will beat me again..."

She is 12 years old, the second-born of three children, all of them from different fathers. "I do not remember my mother... she died long time ago. After her death, my sister, my little brother and I stayed with our grandfather. But she was very poor and she had not enough to feed all of us. That is why I started to work and live with other people....I never went to grandmother died some years elder sister stays with a relative at our home village. My brother is living in the streets. I am now at Mbagala...I am happy now. The people here are helping me and I even go to school now. I do well in Std. I."




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