The Manyara Holistic Centre (MAHOCE)
MAHOCE is small community based NGO in Babati, Tanzania. It is the only organization of its kind in a region of over 1,100,000 residents. Started as a drop-in centre in 2007 providing a single daily meal, some clothing, washing facilities and basic educational opportunities, the Centre has grown to provide full-board services to 30 boys and girls. Focused primarily on providing new alternatives and education to Babati’s street children, the hostel has also taken in young females who had previously worked as house girls in abusive situations and had never before gone to school. Rather than working in hardship conditions, cooking and cleaning in other people’s homes from dusk-to-dawn, these young teenage girls now live in peace and security while receiving a quality education.
Being a holistic centre, MAHOCE also develops and conducts community seminars
for at-risk families and current or former caregivers of street children. Our women’s seminars focus on HIV/Aids awareness, child and adolescent care and the introduction
of appropriate technologies and small-group organization and income generation skills. MAHOCE also has a strong partnership with sectors in both the local and regional government and has received in-kind donations of food-stuffs from concerned citizens. MAHOCE strongly supports family reunification of street children as a first order intervention however, this is not always possible. To better meet the long-term needs of our children, MAHOCE is expanding onto a 50 acre farmstead in a nearby village. Here our children will learn practical life skills, like farming and animal husbandry while continuing to be raised in their own cultural community context.
Growing our own food and raising livestock will also provide the Centre with a major component of self-sustainability and self-determination. The Centre also has long-term plans to build a vocational training centre on the site as well.