11 July 2008
The following article is taken from the June edition of "Mkombozi News". The article highlights the potential value of advocacy in working for positive change to ensure a more just world. For that reason this article was also reproduced on the Edmund Rice International blogsite
"In May 2008, Mkombozi sent out a press release detailing the escalation of violence directed at street youth in Arusha town preceding the Leon H. Sullivan Summit. That press release was an appeal to eliminate the violence and unprovoked detention of street youth, as well as a call for cooperation between the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, the Government of Tanzania, civil society organizations and the citizenry.
Notably, since the press release went to the public, Mkombozi’s street educators and social workers have witnessed a termination of regular violence and brutality carried out against our clients. The Sullivan Summit is now passed, and Mkombozi has still not witnessed any round-ups since we exposed the episodes which preceded it. In fact, during the Sullivan Summit, we at Mkombozi were contacted by the Inspector General of Police, Dar Es Salaam, who had received a copy of the press release. As a reaction after having read it, he offered us a window for dialogue around the street child issue, expressing great concern about how the situation was currently being handled.
Mkombozi is optimistic about the recent events which have taken place. We are hoping to achieve good results in the future as an effect of improved teamwork with all the stakeholders in ensuring a safe and enabling environment for children, free from abuse and violence."