Courage House Tanzania

Courage House is the first home of its kind in Tanzania, Africa. Though Tanzania has laws against the trafficking of children, the government there has not been aggressive in enforcing them, identifying victims or making efforts to prevent this crime.  CWW has had a presence in Tanzania since 2008 and became a registered NGO in 2009.  In 2011, Courage House Tanzania opened and was home to 10 girls and 2 babies.  In 2012, Courage House Tanzania moved from the rural bush area with no electricity or running water to a leased, eight bedroom home (with running water and electricity) forty-five minutes outside the town of Moshi. The town is located at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

For over two and a half years these girls, their babies and Courage House staff hired from the local village were a family.  All girls at Courage House have received an education from a credentialed teacher work to meet their Unique Life Plan (ULP) goals. Life skills classes and English are also taught at Courage House while cultural values and traditions are upheld and celebrated.   Like all Courage Houses, their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs are addressed and met by loving staff in a family environment.

Because of each girl’s length of stay and incredible progress at Courage House, efforts are now being made to transition the girls into the next phase of their Unique Life Plan (ULP).  Some include vocational boarding school, Courage Families, jobs and independent living arrangements.  A local social worker and case manager remain in relationship and communication with each of these girls in the community providing the resources they need to ensure a successful transition into independent living.   Younger girls remain home at Courage House, continuing their education and therapy awaiting their new “sisters”.

The need is so great in Tanzania with hundreds of girls being trafficked nightly in this small, rural town.  Our expansion plans include a Community Center to act as a means to identify victims since law enforcement are not looking for them.  Courage Worldwide partners with local NGO’s for street outreach to also build relationships with girls who are being exploited in this manner with hopes to bring them “home”.

Expansion plans in Tanzania include a mental health intern, a teacher, and an additional social worker.  We would like to lease a larger home and eventually purchase five to ten acres of land in the same geographical area as the currently leased house. Following the Courage House prototype, structures will be built as needed and will be consistent with the community and culture of the area while maintaining the prototyped family environment. Additional structures will be added for staff and volunteer housing increasing our ability to hire qualified staff and accommodate our volunteers. The expansion project would allow for the rescue and restoration of fifty (50) additional girls.

Specific acreage will be designed for the planting of crops and the raising of livestock to create a consistent food source for Courage House, to provide agricultural skills for the residents, and a continual revenue source for CWW. In addition, we would be able to produce a food source for the widows and orphans in the surrounding community.

Local materials, labor and western volunteer teams and donations will be utilized to build-out the property. CWW’s Development Director provides oversight for the project.

Click here to read of our courageous Community Relations Director, Stephanie Midthun and her husband, Courage Worldwide Board Member Joel Midthun’s experience at Courage House Tanzania.  They went for a 3-month visit during March – May 2016.

When I wrote the song, Believe in Me in 2008 to tell “her” story (a girl being trafficked for sex) and be her voice, I had no idea how much that song and “her” story would affect my own. Read more…