Salim Hassan founded this project in 2013 when he was about 23. He has an unusual background for the director of an NGO. His earliest memory is of being on the streets of Arusha foraging with other children. He has no memory of his birth family or how he came to be on the streets.
A couple of years later, a church group placed Salim in their orphanage. They noticed he was very bright and put him forward for a sponsororship. A Canadian woman “adopted” him, paying for him to go to a better school and then to university. He obtained a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with Accountancy at Arusha University in 2013.
Salim might easily have used his education and business skills to make money for himself and his family, but he couldn’t bring himself to turn his back on his past and forget about what had happened. He had been lucky, but countless others were still trapped.
He felt a burning need to do for others what had been done for him. Salim decided to make a difference for people who, like him, deserve a better chance in life. He set out to bring care, support and education into the lives of some of his community in Arusha.
As a result, Arusha Children Support has a mission to help marginalised communities, with a focus on children, young adults and women, offering them a chance to learn, share ideas and get appropriate training for a better future.
The project also has a team Salim has gathered together – local paid staff and volunteer helpers, supplemented by volunteers from other countries. The project is changing the lives of many children and young people.