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Day of the African Child 2018: Stories from Tanzania #2


A young girl called the Tanzanian National Child Helpline, asking for help in between sobs. Her call was answered by Lillian, who calmed her down enough to talk about why she was so upset. The girl explained that she had been taken to Dar es Salaam to work as a housekeeper – but what she thought would be a ‘normal job’ turned into a nightmare when her employer raped her…

It wasn’t the first time she had thought of calling 116, but she had been hesitant because she was unsure about talking to anyone about what had happened to her. But that morning when she called the helpline was the third time he had raped her.

She knew that she could not take it anymore. She needed help.

Lillian asked exactly where she was, but she had no idea. She had to ask for help around her neighbourhood to find any local leader who could help her meet the ward Social Welfare Officer. As she sought info on her whereabouts, Lillian called other Social Welfare Officers for assistance. The girl was rescued and taken to Kiwohede, a centre that helps children who have experienced sexual abuse while working as maids.

Sadly, this girl’s case never made it to court because, although the medical report showed that she had been raped, it was too late to prove who had raped her. But thanks to the work of the helpline she had escaped from a harrowing and dangerous situation.