Karate Can Kick Hopelessness

by Maison de la Gare
Play Video
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness

Project Report | Jan 29, 2018
Issa Ba. Making the Most of Opportunity

By Sonia LeRoy, International Volunteer and Partner | Issa Ba, Talibe in Transition,Apprentice, Karateka

Issa Ba with fellow Sor-Karate students & Sensei
Issa Ba with fellow Sor-Karate students & Sensei

Issa Ba was a talibé from the region of Kolda in the far south of Senegal, far from Saint Louis. He is also an apprentice mechanic, a talibé-in-transition member of Maison de la Gare, and a karate student.

 

Issa Ba has been in Saint Louis for years, begging and working to fill his daily quota for his marabout and studying the Coran a few hours a week, while spending as much time as he could at Maison de la Gare where he had friends and could rely on people to watch out for him. Now, as an older talibé transitioning away from forced begging, Issa Ba is taking full advantage of the opportunities Maison de la Gare has to offer. A few months ago Issa Ba was given a leadership role at the centre, with responsibility for general maintenance and assisting the younger talibés with hygiene. The talibé in transition program is designed to be a stepping stone between forced begging and independence for older talibés who could be freed from forced begging, but are not yet developed enough in education, skills or training to live successfully on their own.

 

While working daily at Maison de la Gare, Issa Ba also is a mechanic's apprentice. Upon learning of opportunities to acquire skills though Maison de la Gare's apprenticeship programs, Issa Ba approached a staff member and confided his dream of learning to be a mechanic. Now, Issa Ba is in training at a local repair shop. He arrives every morning at 9am, remaining until 3pm. Two days a weeks Issa Ba returns to his daara to study the Coran for about an hour. The days he does not have Coranic studies he remains at the shop longer, eager to put in the training hours that lead him closer to his goal. At 5pm his work at Maison de la Gare begins. Then, after work, karate at night.

 

As a student of karate at Maison de la Gare, Issa Ba trains each night at Sor-Karate dojo for several hours, developing his passion for martial arts. A few years ago he became curious about the morning karate classes at Maison de la Gare and soon joined in. Not too long ago, noting his particular interest and progress in karate, we registered Issa Ba at Sor-karate as a member. Donors have generously sponsored Issa Ba for membership at the dojo since then. Last year my son, Robbie Hughes, the founder of the Maison de la Gare karate program, was struck with Issa Ba's determination and perseverance as he helped him prepare for his yellow belt test. We both proudly participated in Issa Ba's ceremony after his successful grading for yellow (which only half the candidates passed). Issa Ba is ready for his orange belt test now.

 

Due to his skill and persevering attitude, Issa Ba was invited to join the Maison de la Gare-Sor karate competition team. International donations have made it possible for Issa Ba and his teammates to be outfitted with competition uniforms and equipment. And, when there are enough donations, Issa Ba and the Maison de la Gare-Sor karate team have the opportunity to travel to compete at a regional level.

 

Issa Ba applies himself to each of his pursuits with uncommon dedication, recognizing his opportunities for what they really are: Hope for the future. After years of forced begging, Maison de la Gare has led Issa Ba to come a long way in a short time. He is a leader, a role model for young talibés on their own and far from family, talibés without education or skills or any idea of how to obtain them. Issa Ba is apprenticing for work he loves. And, his development as a martial artist is gaining him not just self defence skills, confidence and respect, but also the stamina and discipline to help him through long days that are necessary on route to achieving his goals.

Issa Ba apprenticing as a mechanic
Issa Ba apprenticing as a mechanic
Issa Ba and his mechanic mentor
Issa Ba and his mechanic mentor
Issa Ba and the successful yellow belts
Issa Ba and the successful yellow belts
Sonia presenting yellow belt to Issa Ba
Sonia presenting yellow belt to Issa Ba
Sor-Karate Maison de la Gare competition team
Sor-Karate Maison de la Gare competition team
Getting ready for competition
Getting ready for competition

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Organization Information

Maison de la Gare

Location: Saint Louis - Senegal
Website:
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Project Leader:
Maison de la Gare
Saint Louis , Saint Louis Senegal
$3,640 raised of $6,000 goal
 
61 donations
$2,360 to go
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