Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom

by Lets Be Ready
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Chance For All in an African Magical Classroom
Old teaching letters and sounds
Old teaching letters and sounds

The Director for this project has relocated to another city quite far from San Louis. This along with the Covid restrictions on what can be done to help the group of young boys has made it impossible to continue. Fina made a great contribution to the Talib's during the course of the serval years of the project. The need continues for help and Sinegal to eliminate the human trafficking that exists through the guise of religion. Until the government gives more teeth to the laws they have in place, there is little hope.There is a small chance the project could be resumed in the future, but at this time we are not excepting any more donations.

Fred Zambroski

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Who am I in my society? What is my real place in this world?

Why have I been brought into the world to live in these sad and bad conditions? Sometimes I am wondering why my life is so different from the other children.

Indeed, they live in house and have parents, they have nice clothes and shoes, also, schools are open to them and they have good food in the right time, but why not me?

Am I responsible for what happens to me? In which world do we live in? Why do people ignore us talibés?

Oh yes, sometimes we are ignored, even if we used to annoy them to have alms or food because we are hungry. They categorically refuse to help us, even if they see the distress in our little faces. If we don’t give money to our marabouts everyday, he will beat us; he doesn’t care about our hunger, our thirst or our clothes. People know that and nobody says a word. Nobody can help us.

 Sometimes we are seen, because they need us (in some circumstances) and it is just to sweep their homes, take out the trash or when they need God to grant one of their wishes, in such case, they give us offerings.

Otherwise, we have nothing from people around us. Nowadays, it’s common to see groups of activists (opinion leaders, a political candidate…), in Senegal fighting for the high cost of living (especially food, rent and transportation).

Other groups are talking about parity, Women’s rights and every day they are in the media, shouting loud and clear in order to force an immediate reaction of the Senegalese government. How come? What about the fight for the children’s right? Normally, the situation of the talibés should be a priority over all the others anyway? Is there any humanity left in this life?

Instead of that, we are abandoned in the cold, the heat, the hunger or in the floods, without it shocks anyone. We are raped by predators because we are vulnerable and accessible to everyone; we are victims of car accidents all the time. Just because we don’t have real parents, and we do not belong to anyone so we have to face all dangers.

The community offered us to all winds. Society accepts to deliver us to all dangers. And every evening, people keep us out of their memory and then they hide in their home, eyes and ears blocked so that they no longer see us, no longer hear us.

Nevertheless, when we beg for food outside doors, or when we are beaten at night, our howls pierce the silent night. But since men now have hearts of stone, it is very rare to see someone coming to save us. Until when?

However, we didn’t fall from sky, we have parents and they are the first responsible for the hell we live in. Why having children and leaving them at the age of three? It’s necessary to solve the problem by starting from the roots. Find our parents in the villages and repress them so that it stops forever.

When will the day come when our cause will be defended? Major international organizations should think of the talibés of Senegal who suffer in silence

Even if many associations and foreigners are helping us by providing talibés with food, clothes and medication, our issue remains the same. We need to get back to our villages, see our parents and live our normal life. In the meantime, we will try to survive while waiting for Senegal government to take strict measures against child begging and labour.

                               There is a big gap between just thinking of it and doing it.

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The Spirit of sharing is a great life lesson, a great moment of friendship and fun.

In these tough economic times, Associations around Saint-Louis town are facing many challenges, due to the pandemic. Of course, it is understandable that donors are facing hard times in their country but, they never forget Senegal and little kids. 

There is an old saying that: ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ and that proverb makes sense nowadays. In fact; many organizations, agencies or institutions are receiving help and support from their government or foreign NGOs, except local Associations in Saint-Louis.

Sometimes you need to know a distinguished politician in order to get a grant. Unfortunately, we don’t know ways to apply for subsidy, which is quite sad or unfair, but that’s our daily life.

 Luckily, we have longlife friends living far from Senegal, but having their heart and soul with us. They always worry about children situation and associations members. They kept calling us from time to time to have an update regarding the current situation of street children. For example, how they are surviving in these times? How can they have good food? How they can be treated if they are sick or injured?

 Despite the fact that those donors are also vulnerable and are confronted with the pandemic, lockdown, job loss, anxiety, safety distance, injections and so on. They still have time to think about us to undertake actions in order to rescue us.

For that purpose, they sent us money to support our activities in Saint-Louis and allowed us to organize a great program of Meals sharing and distribution. Of course in Africa, eating is one of the greatest pleasures of life. Sharing and enjoying meals with people, friends or family is a special time.

 That’s why we decided to do it with talibés and kids in neighborhoods.  Since eating is important for us and knowing that’s never easy for our little ones to enjoy a suitable food, we took time to involve them in decision and all of them really appreciated to share meals together.

The sharing spirit is a great life lesson to teach to children. In that regard, we arranged several days and in different areas (4 neighborhoods in Saint-Louis town and one in Dakar, because we are collaborating with other local groups of young people) to carry out those activities and we relied on other association members to help in food distribution.

We prepared either breakfasts for some or lunch and dinner for others, depending on the circumstances. Everyone (street children, nice marabouts, kids in poor neighborhoods, teenagers and local people) enjoyed meals and hoped that life will return to normal soon.

 It was a great occasion of reunions, as if we were back to our life before the Corona virus. We could notice in kids face a sense of relief and we realized that they needed that. In fact, since the pandemic we lived with fear and concern, so getting back together was like a fraternal meeting and made us feel free and happy.

Thanks again to our two special friends Fred and Nancy, for supporting, coaching and advising us in these hard times. We hope to see them in Senegal in the near future.   

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The corona virus distracted the country from Street Children’s situation

Why this virus overshadowed our poor kids’ life? When will this end?

Every day, there are same discussions and comments in media, it’s quite normal because it’s a major health crisis, affecting all countries in the world. It’s really sad because we lost a great many friends and relatives directly or indirectly. However, if the Senegalese government still has time to talk about political matter, it has to worry about our lovely kids. Indeed, for us, members of many associations here in Senegal, what we noticed is that, street children are among the most forgotten during that period.

Before the covid-19, Associations were never helped at all by local government; they were depending on foreign donors who decided to visit the country first and found by themselves the bad situation of kids and then they decided to help.

Many of them were just travelling for tourism or business visit, more often, they were in the country to visit a friend or a relative. But once they met street children, they asked many questions to know about the story, before trying to visit Daaras and local people who were having action against that plague. For foreign donors, the environment of those kids was unacceptable and automatically, they started taking actions and decided by their own to support children for the rest of their life.

By the way, they encouraged us, taught us and showed us through actions what it means to be truly human. Since then, we kept making action in order to help little ones. In the past, we constantly had important donations of clothes, shoes, medications, school materials, health materials, toys and even food to organize talibés meals.  Unfortunately for a year and half, our lives have been touched by the Corona virus pandemic, many local families are affected, for example, many of them were giving meals to talibes, but now they didn’t have enough even for all the family members. Also, many donors lost their jobs, others are not allowed to visit us or send materials to kids.

Furthermore, foreigners were able to be there with us and were helping us night and day in kids care, education and play, those actions were the key of the success. In fact, that created deep bonds of affection because everyone knows that children need lots of affection. That face-to-face interaction helped us to be close to kids, to listen to their issue and also support them if need be. They had the chance to confide in us their problems with marabouts or between themselves (by the way, we could find if a child was victim of physical violence, mental or child abuse). The situation is really sad and that’s why we think that the government should worry about the underprivileged people like street children because they suffer in silence.

Since we have to live with that virus, life must go on for those who are left, especially children who have to build the future. Now the only actions we are taking is to keep visiting them, preparing if possible food, giving them class from time to time, give them masks and hand sanitizers and advising them to stay strong until the end of this nightmare.

Let’s stay positive and wait for a better future in the world.

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In this summer, we faced lots of trouble, but we still have a smile in our face to stay alive and be positive. Despite the Covid-19, the rainy season was tough, in one day in rained more than in three months of normal raining season according to BBC Africa report.

This raining season was not like any other particularly in Senegal. The rain affected many regions and Saint Louis town was flooded everywhere. It left many damages in this north part of Senegal, location and area of interest of Chance For All Senegal.

This raining season showed many defects which existed in Saint Louis.

The bad Channeling and high water table made the inhabitants really vulnerable to rains like that.

Many families were obliged to leave their house and go to stay in school where they could use classrooms to sleep. The Daaras where Chance for All Senegal used to work with were flooded. But we went to visit them and try to give help, if possible.

A narration from one of the volunteers: "when we went to check on the damages the whole concession were under water and the little good they had, floating. Children were in the water, all the way up their waste"

Despite that they stayed in the concession and the funny thing is that nothing really changed for them. After asking one of them why they stayed in? They informed us that since they don't have running water and the rain was an occasion to get enough water to do their laundry and wash some dishes.

When others may be too worried about that situation, kids in daaras found the situation as an advantage.

However the situation was really bad, in other place, we saw most of the kids without clothes on and wounds everywhere. They didn’t get the care needed. Their innocence and childish mind made them not realize the seriousness of the unhealthy conditions of their lives. That seemed to be the most normal thing just like on a normal random day. At some moment a little group of children were even playing in the water, saying they were to learn how to swim. They really enjoyed themselves in all that chaos.

We started helping them to clean rooms and we advised them to avoid to play there. It was better to move to another daara where it was possible to stay until the end of the rainy season.

Lucky they are too young to get anxious because of such conditions but it was too bad for their health and growth.

Due to these troubles, Chance for all activities were postponed, the only activity we had was to get water pumps to drain water in order to assist children and their chaperones in Darou.

The mayor and some associations came along to help. The mayor sent water pumps.

 

Now we restart activities and even if the covid-19 is still there, our children need help and assistance, we couldn’t wait until the end of the Pandemic to reopen centre, specially the healthcare unit where we are receiving the emergencies cases. Thanks God we have less covid-19 cases in Saint-Louis, so our activities are improving little by little.

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Organization Information

Lets Be Ready

Location: Longmont, CO - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Fred Zambroski
Longmont, CO United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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