The department seeks to fulfil two of the organisation’s objectives which are to reduce vulnerability of children and youth to all forms of abuse and exploitation, STIs including HIV and mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS on vulnerable children and to improve the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of vulnerable children and youths.
HPSS consists of 3 major elements which are Children living and working on the streets, Place of Safety and Adolescent Health targeting the 0 and 18yrs age group.
The Contact Department specifically working with children living and working on the street has reunified more than 1000 children to date. It works as a drop in centre for Street Boys where they can come and have a decent meal (lunch), bath and wash their clothes. During their time there they are also engaged in psycho-social activities such as remedial lessons, individual counselling and spiritual sessions.
It is through these “rehabilitative” interactions that the children come out of the shells that they hide in and expose their vulnerable side; that is when the road to recovery starts. In 2015 two children joined the Catch-up Project at the Sakubva Rehabilitation Centre, two boys got their National Identity Cards.
The boys have also managed to record two singles, “Tiri mustreet” and “Looking for a home” with the help of International Citizen Service (ICS) Volunteers. Follow this link to listen to the first single Tiri mustreet.
The Place of Safety is a temporary shelter that came into existence in the early 2000s. It serves a sanctuary for survivors of abuse in all the 3 districts; Mutare, Chipinge and Rusape. The shelters are regulated by the Department of Child Welfare and Protection Services as it seeks to compliment government efforts on the issue of child protection. The shelter replicates a family set up where there are parents (Matrons), children and household chores. At this shelter a variety of psycho-social activities including Art and Play Therapy, Remedial Lessons, Spiritual Sessions, Counselling and Life skills are undertaken to restore the psychological wellbeing of the survivors. An average of 150 children is housed every year in all the Simukai Places of Safety. As a result of the strong referral system within which Simukai operates in, the children placed at the Place of Safety have access to a variety of services including Health and Judicial services from partners.
The health component is embedded in the above mentioned programmes (Contact and Place of Safety) with more bias to HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health within adolescents. Youth, although the most affected demographic in Africa, are the most forgotten in these dialogues due to a myriad of reasons including tradition and Culture. Simukai seeks to fill the gap and disseminate as much information to these key populations, which also includes the disabled and disadvantaged.