Young African Magazine
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Former ‘Street’ Child Project Draws Hollywood Attention

WHEN he made the journey from Zimbabwe that took him to South Africa through the crocodile-infested Limpopo River five years ago, former street child Tendai Sean Joe did not expect that his fortunes would change so dramatically. After years of scrounging for food in bins near restaurants dotted in the central business district of Harare, Sean Joe, who is now based in Cape Town believes his star is finally starting to shine. He has embarked on a project to raise awareness on the plight of children on a tour of Africa and Europe and a documentary to be titled Trail of Hope will be made out of this journey, which is receiving support from some of the well known celebrities. British Director, Andy Wilson who directed the 1997 film Playing God with David Duchovny and Angelina Jolie will be filming the Trail of Hope documentary. In August this year, Sean Joe and partner Albert Arcona, are setting off on a Trail of Hope: a three-month motorbike journey through Africa and Europe to raise awareness on the plight of children. At the same time they hope to raise funds for the Cape Town based MyLife Project, a South African organisation working to rehabilitate people living on the streets and integrate them back into society. The project is run by people who come from the environment but have since managed to turn their lives around. Ambassadors of the MyLife project are international actors Billy Zane and James Purefoy, Hakeem Kazeem of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, Just Jinjer’s lead vocalist Art Matthews and Top Billing presenter Jeannie D. Sean Joe told Standardplus through the social network, Facebook that: “Millions of children live and work on the streets, without food, education, adequate shelter, or a loving family or protection from traffickers, paedophiles, criminals and abusers. “These children are caught in a desperate struggle which sees them surviving the realities of poverty, addiction, gangsterism, crime, institutionalization, life without any medication to diseases. “These are our future generations that we have conveniently put on the periphery of society and labelled ‘street’ child.” Their journey will start in Cape Town and progress through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, France and Germany before ending in England. The road trip ends with two fundraising concerts in Berlin and London. The concerts will be graced by top celebrities who support the cause. In each country, they will seek out and speak to children living on the streets and document the stories on their blog. While travelling, the two expect to sleep on the streets, churches and in children’s homes and their journeys would be captured by a film crew. “We require a film production company or TV station to cover our ride,” Sean Joe said. “We would like to partner with the corporate world, public figures and all those who support this cause. “The ultimate goal is to make as much noise as possible and create awareness to the plight of the street children across Africa.” BY JOHN MOKWETSI



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