Joshua gets into all sorts of happenings in Tanzania! Last month for instance, I was given an hour to share with 300 Boda-Boda trainees about the Joshua School Child Protection policy. Before I go any further, you’ll be asking, “What on earth is Boda-Boda?”, so let’s answer that first!
Boda-Boda are motorcycle taxi-drivers found everywhere in cities and towns of Tanzania. Their ubiquitous presence is the result of a number of factors: these include an increasing demand for public transport, the opportunity to purchase motorcycles on credit, an influx of cheap imports from Indian and Chinese manufacturers and jobless young guys looking for work opportunities.
Anyway, in order to increase road safety and accountability among Boda-Boda, Tanzania’s Safe Driving Organization introduced a phased training approach aimed at affecting a trickle-down effect in the community – and it started with a training session of around 300 of these drivers in Arusha.
My session aimed at creating awareness among drivers of behaviour that might contravene Tanzania’s Child Protection laws. Statistics show that 15% of primary school students use Boda-Boda transport to and from school every day. Sexual abuse, harassment and other forms of abuse cases against drivers is increasing.
At the end of my session, Tumaini (standing behind me in the picture below), who was a Boda-Boda before he had an accident a few years ago and had one of his legs amputated (another sad trend of Boda-Boda everywhere), had this to share:
“Most drivers have no idea which actions are regarded abusive and those that are not. Your training helps us keep both the children and ourselves safe!” At the end of my session, all Boda-Boda drivers voted to become ambassadors for protecting children against all forms of abuse and safe from road accidents. I left feeling inspired!