St. John of God Community Services Malawi

Together we are stronger.

The Umoza Street Children Programme supports 753 children accross 4 centres in Malawi's Northern region of Mzuzu.

Malawi's school system, due to a lack resources, only provides children with half a day’s schooling. Children either attend in the morning from 8am - 12 noon or in the afternoon from 1pm - to 4pm. Outside of these hours, children are left vulnerable while parents make a living.

Operating in the streets        Operating on the streets   
Children who have a home but work on the streets    Children who live on the streets

Umoza children’s programme is a Saint John of God Hospitaller project. 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.

Children come into the program through the street outreach team. The outreach teams goes to the streets and finds 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 already identified as being on the streets.

90% of the children return to their family with follow up checks from social workers to help families cope. Child Protection is at the core of Umoza Children’s programme activities.

Drop-in center

Children are provided with a meal and kept busy with after school programs to help with their homework. There are also dancing and singing classes. The children can also bring in their clothes to wash each week.

Community outreach

The Drop in Centre is the first point of call for children identified from the streets. Social workers with the local police go to bus depots and markers late at night to bring the children of the street in to the Uneass refuge centre. Here children can stay up to 72 hours. During this time our social workers work with the children to trace and reunite them with their families.