By building the capacity of local social service providers, the project aims to impact the lives of 400 talibe children across 10 communities by improving the provision of basic social services including, but not limited to: registration and regularization of civil status, access to socio-economic services, and protection against violence, abuse and trafficking. Free the Slaves brings 19 years of expertise to sustainably engage local grassroots organizations in Senegal to resist trafficking.
In Senegal, many families from poor and rural areas send their children away to religious schools (daaras), hoping they will be better cared for. The Children (talibes) are often sent on the streets to beg. In the streets or in school, they face many forms of abuse and extremely unsafe a conditions, adding to the trauma caused by family rupture. Most talibes enter adulthood deprived of complete education and unprepared for productive employment, and many are never reunified with their families.
Through roundtables, workshops and technical assistance, we will work with local social service organizations at the community level that specialize in child protection. We will focus on organizational capacity building, mentoring them throughout the process of developing their activities and delivering their services. Our intervention is based on the concept of building community resistance to trafficking, and target the root causes that make communities and children vulnerable to trafficking.
By building the capacity of service providers, we tackle the causes that lead parents to send their children away, and ensure that children receive an education, healthcare and other social services within their communities and with their families. Healthy and educated children enjoying their basic rights go on to educate other children and benefit their community's development. Over time, communities eradicate the root causes that make them vulnerable to trafficking for generations to come.