OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

A Self-Sustaining Home That Brings Street-Connected Children and the Elderly Together as Family

Bringing together street-connected youth and the elderly in a permaculture-based home to provide support, mentorship and sustainability.

Photo of Emily Molzan
0 2

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Tanzania is a collective culture, but like everything, is not perfect. Street-connected children and youth (SCCY) and the elderly can be left out of this collective, abandoned by those who are supposed to care for them, making them two of the most vulnerable populations in Tanzania. With little-to-no family support, these populations are left to fend for themselves when in reality the require significant familial and community support. We plan to build a home for these two populations, bringing them together under one roof to provide love, mentorship, structure, and support to one another. Built to mimic a village, each home will house 4-6 youth and 1 elder mentor. These populations will provide each other unique supports necessary to each other's identity and own self-worth, all while promoting meaningful engagement. The SCCY will receive the structure and accountability youth need, as well as love and affection, from the elderly. The elderly will not only have a safe place to live, but again feel needed by others and be able to engage in meaningful activities, all while mentoring the SCCY. Sustainability is at the core of this project. In addition to providing a home, we will provide our current programming of Arts-based, and carpentry, vocational training to our SCCY members. This will provide an opportunity for them to become self-sustainable, independent, responsible community members. When SCCY are trained and become self-sufficient in being able to support themselves, they will graduate a make room for new SCCY to enter the program. Permaculture will play a large role in producing food for all our members, and act as a source of income. In addition, it will provide structure to our members' days, and teach a unique set of skills that will increase the SCCY employability.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our first beneficiaries are male full-time street-connected children and youth (SCCY) between the ages of 16-24. Full-time street-connected youth are those that eat, sleep, work and play on the streets. They have no safe physical home to speak of, or family that can support them. Our second beneficiaries are elderly ("wazee" in Swahili) over the age of 65 that have no family to support and provide for them. Both populations must be currently residing in Moshi, Tanzania.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Few residential program exist for street-connected youth, and those that do 'graduate' their residents by the age of 18. No residential programs exist for those connected to the streets after the age of 18; this population still requires significant support. In addition, few residential programs exist for the elderly. As a collective culture, the elderly are typically cared for by their children; those who are not cared for by children or family are left to few government housing services. Our idea is unique in bringing these two vulnerable populations together to grow as a unique family, and provide love, mentorship and support. Our team is made up of young adults that are ex-street-connected children, that turned their lives around and have dedicated their lives to giving back to their community. By having such individuals execute our programming, we know we are able to provide necessary and quality services, as they can provide the services they would have previous used.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

1Ndoto is a US 501(c)3 registered charity that is dedicated to providing educational, entrepreneurship and skills-based programs to the most at-risk and vulnerable populations in Africa. Current projects include Pamoja Tunaweza Boys & Girls Club in Moshi, Tanzania in which we provide life- and vocational-skills training to street-connected children and youth. /

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

People are what drive a community. In order for any community to thrive and grow, the people need to be nurtured. In seeing such a need for residential and educational programs, we were inspired to develop a home in which those most vulnerable in the community can seek safety, support and sustainability. Merging the populations of SCCY and the elderly came from the collectivist culture of Tanzania, and empowering the locals to be powerful tools for positive change.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace is influenced by a lack of supports for SCCY and elderly. Without supports these populations are driven to crime in order to survive. Prosperity has been impacted by a lack of employment opportunities, and a fractured education system. Many SCCY and elderly have little-to-no education, making achieving sustainable employment a significant challenge. Plant is influenced by climate change and significant changes in rainy seasons, which hurts the agriculture community. Permaculture provide an opportunity to strengthen agriculture.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We have already engaged key community members in detailed brainstorming discussions on how we can best execute this program. We will continue these discussion to ensure, at all points of implementation, we are doing what is best for these populations and the community. In addition, as we are working with vulnerable populations, we will work closely with the appropriate government offices to ensure we are adhering to the law in providing quality services. In time, this will also assist in the referral process by informing the government on alternative service options for SCCY and the elderly.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

While climate change has had a significant impact on agriculture worldwide, the Kilimanjaro region is blessed with fertile soil on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Having a trained permaculturist, we will be able to capitalize on this fertile soil to grow quality produce to sustain our Home. We also have many SCCY living on the streets, and organizations that 'graduate' youth after the age of 18, leaving Moshi with a surplus of vulnerable youth.

Geographic Focus

Moshi is a town of over 180,000 people, located on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

As we are in the prototype phase, we anticipate full implementation to take place in 3 years. Currently, we are provide day programming to male SCCY. Our team is in the beginning stages of obtaining appropriate government documentation to allow us to provide housing. Once this is obtained, we hope to find a facilitate that we can rent to house these SCCY and elderly, as an interim solution as we gain funds to build our own Home.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation: