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

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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The association Chance For All Senegal always in its dynamism of support and accompaniment to street children, talibés, children from daaras did not fail in these times of fight against COVID-19 to bring its help and still within the Saint Louis region. Indeed, affected by the virus, Senegal in its means of pandemic control has defined a curfew in preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus. However, this is not without consequences for life, the livelihoods of the children of the daaras knowing that the children mainly fed outside and that now freedom of circulation is limited.

The association Chance For All Senegal after the distribution of sanitary kits to some daaras now go there. They go there as to bring them meals and that in a small group. They stay with the children until after their meal and just before the curfew. The small group of volunteers always go around 5 P.M. to the chosen daara because it is not every day that they go to the same place. We do not limit ourselves only to this daara: those are the words of our interlocutor. “Every two days we go to a different daara to at least support four daaras in eight days in the surrounding localities”. Each time, they leave with large dishes, always with a different meal, well packed and, loaded in the back of their cars.

Arrived at their destination, they hold the dishes on their heads to transport them from their cars inside the daara. They help set up the dishes and organize the children around each dish. "We do not only make sure they eat but, we also remind them of hygiene measures and take few minutes to chat with them and entertain them," confided our interlocutor. Our volunteers from Chance For All Senegal support that repetition is educational and at the present time children do not need to be frightened but, to become aware of the situation and to always be able satisfy their first needs and that especially to be nourished. However, the association does not work alone. It is also thanks to their collaboration with many other local associations that they are able to achieve all this. In another journey with Chance For All Senegal and in this crisis situation they show us once again that they will always be at the front lines of assisting these children.

The coronavirus is still present with us. We have all become vulnerable confronted to this pandemic. We need to be resilient in order to fight this pandemic through aid and above all to be able to support the most vulnerable strata that we still and always will defend. Our interlocutor ended our interview on those words after allowing us to travel with them in another of their journey with the children of the daaras. Let’s wait for something more to come from these friends of children.

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 In times of crisis like this, the association today more than yesterday is at the service of vulnerable community. They know that everywhere in the world runs the fear and weakness of people facing the corona virus. That virus that entire humanity still does not have control on does not make any distinction. Thus, with the measures established to protect from that virus, our brave people of Chance for All Senegal have not forgotten to educate, prepare and equip their lovely kids, to include them in the fight against the virus where perhaps many people have forgotten them. This being said, members of the association decided to visit children of some daaras. Too many people couldn’t go because there are more restrictions regarding organizing meeting, just to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.

The association chose the last weekend in March and still in the North, Saint Louis at their Headquarter to invite all these children they had been following since the beginning and the Daaras with their Marabout. It was on Saturday morning at eleven (11) o’clock they bought hygiene materials at the market first before visiting Daaras. The stuff bought was for hygiene and especially hand hygiene. It was bleach, disinfectants, hydro-alcoholic solutions, powder soaps, disposable towels and even plastic buckets (recipients to carry water for hand washing) ... At that image, on the faces of children you could’ve read a lot of questions, for others, it was a surprise. That did not last with the arrival on stage of 3 members of the association. They introduced the subject of the day: the illness due to Corona, it was an opportunity to sensitize more, for example, how we get sick? What are the symptoms? What steps to watch if someone has them and above all how to avoid that disease?

 

It was not so easy to pass the information to the children who we know somehow are living in their own world, which means, away from any information. By these times, all of them know a little bit about Corona virus, but they need accurate information and good measures to apply by themselves. Among the Marabouts who had witnessed the meeting, one stood on behalf of the others to encourage and thank the association, rewind everything they said, and support the observation of the prescribed measures. Learning was not only intended for children but especially all that accompanied them to always remind them.

Thus, the facilitators did not only give the materials, they also insisted on their usefulness and their good use with a demonstration. At the end, kids were singing in Wolof: ‘To avoid the Corona virus: I have to wash my hands….’. A small phrase they have been taught from this day. It is sure it will be very difficult for them to stay in confinement for always having been most of their time out and without restriction. But, this is another opportunity to remind everyone and to some marabouts that place to these children is not the street, full of danger and predators.

At the end of the meeting, when they had all left off with a lot of baggage as well as knowledge, in an interview, one of the pillars of the association entrusts us in these words: even with the corona, we cannot leave the children. It was not only words but Chance For All Senegal once again shows that he bears heart this mission, to carry out the well being of these children and that no matter the situation. They will chaperone them until they should fly by their own. let's hope that that Virus will disappear soon, because we don't have good facilities to help people in this kind of disease. For now let’s cross our fingers and hope to have better days for everyone in the world.

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Another day at the care centre.

After having gathered a dad and his son, a day of cleaning, raising awareness on road safety measures and first aid, what could be more normal than a day of free general check-in and free care for the protégés of Chance for All Senegal? This time our Samaritans from Chance For All Senegal with a Senegalese association of Doctors dedicated one more of their day to children and any member of the staff with medical expertise participated to offer them free consultations and care.

It was especially dedicated to street children and talibés and Chance for all got the support from Nancy and Fred from USA to buy all the necessary materials for that day (bandages, alcohol, betadine, plaster, ointments). We should always keep in mind that the main cause of people at Chance For All Senegal is to improve the lives of street children, those who are homeless.

The day was spent in the district of Darou in Saint-Louis. It was children who furrowed the neighborhoods to bring their comrades who needed medical assistance. Many children answered the call, around one hundred and fifty. Even children living with a parent came along.

 It was often wounds on the feet due to shards of bottles, sores all over the body, rashes sign of poor body hygiene and testifying the exposure to dangers of street children and their vulnerability . During that day our volunteers even found scabies in some children. You should also know that they did not skimp on any means, Senegalese volunteers even bought snacks (after having informed all friends and family members to participate), for those who needed them. It was also a collaboration with the local pharmacy (Pharmacie du fleuve), they sent a facilitator in order to supervise the activity.

Some children have been accompanied by their parents. Some marabouts of daaras showed a great curiosity until coming to see what our good people were doing. You should know that in daaras they do not have the culture of going to a health facility. It was really beneficial for all these children and there is no better feeling than the satisfaction shown by our scouts (children too) who brought their comrade to us. On their faces you could’ve read all the joy of being able to help.

It should be mentioned that it was not easy for our volunteers and all the people who accompanied the association in that day with the endless minutes to stand but the success of thas day and the fact of having given hope to those little angels just with a small bandage of wounds brought fullness in our Samaritans that their fatigue could not match.

That was just one day among so many to come to the care of those children.

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Lets Be Ready

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