Karate Can Kick Hopelessness

by Maison de la Gare
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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 | Apr 25, 2024
Karate Can Kick Hopelessness Annual Report 2023

By Sonia LeRoy | Partner and International Volunteer

Maison de la Gare has published its 2023 Annual Report. The report is a glimpse into Maison de la Gare’s world, and how it is changing lives every day.

Maison de la Gare promotes the well-being of the begging talibé street children of Saint Louis, providing them with protection, education, and a safe haven. We strive to make a significant and lasting difference in their lives. Our priorities are:

Protection: Protecting the children from all forms of violence and abuse that can harm their physical, moral, or psychological well-being.

Learning: Giving them access to education, literacy programs for the youngest children, and vocational training for older ones. This gives them skills they will need for successful integration into society. For the older talibés and others, we support them in starting small businesses to become financially independent.

Safe Haven: Providing the children with shelter, clothing, food, the opportunity to play sports and play like children, and psychological and medical support, in a safe and nurturing environment.

We are committed to eradicating child begging by talibé children and to combating all forms of child abuse and exploitation.

We invite you to read Maison de la Gare’s full 2023 Annual Report to see for yourself how we are progressing towards these goals. We registered children entering our center an average of 2,680 times each month in 2023, a total of 2,326 different children over the year.

One of the important and enduring programs at Maison de la Gare that supports MDG’s priorities and objectives for the forced begging street children of Saint Louis is the sports program, Karate Can Kick Hopelessness. 63 children were registered and participated in our karate program in 2023, and many hundreds have benefited from martial arts over the years since the program’s founding by a young Canadian black belt volunteer, nearly a decade ago. 43 students were sponsored members of Sor-Karate-Club dojo in 2023, and 20 more participated in classes at the MDG Centre several days a week.

Karate is so much more than a sport at Maison de la Gare.

Karate is a carrot that draws some children to the Maison de la Gare Center, where they then also can benefit from the literacy, medical, and apprenticeship programs. And sometimes, children discover a love for karate when they happen by the Centre for another reason and observe dozens of other talibé children practicing with passion, dressed in clean white uniforms, training hard, demonstrating skill, discipline, confidence and commitment.

In March and again in May, five of the advanced karatekas participated in regional tournaments. Many of them brought back medals to Maison de la Gare.

In September, the karateka of Maison de la Gare of ages 10 to 15 were invited by program partner, Sensei Ignety Ba of Sor-Karate Club to participate in a multi-day martial arts camp. The camp was sponsored by Aikado, in partnership with the mayor’s office of the city of Saint Louis, and drew in young karate students from all over the region, and even from Mauritania. The participants were given t-shirts and had the opportunity to train with other karate students and receive one on one mentoring from senseis from all over Senegal. The camp was a glorious experience. In addition to learning new skills, gaining confidence and new friendships, nine of our karateka brought home medals as a result of their exceptional performance.

In October, four of the senior karatekas successfully graded for higher belts. And, Boiro, the instructor of the MDG classes at the Centre , once a talibé himself, was invited to train to test for his second degree black belt!

In November, yellow belts were granted to ten successful young grading candidates. These children trained only at the MDG Centre, not in the advanced program in the dojo. Some of them had been devotedly training for years in our classes. These children were given the opportunity to obtain WKF karate licenses and grade for higher belts thanks to an invitation to do so by Sor-Karate Club, and the sponsorship of donors.

In December, a Karate competition was held at the MDG centre. It was the sixth such event to be promoted for the talibe karateka. All the MDG karateka were invited to participate. Kihon and Kata divisions were available for the junior students who train at the MDG Centre, and there were kumite and kata divisions for the older, more advance karateka who also are sponsored to practice at the Sor-Karate Club dojo. Prizes and medals were won by all the competitors.  And, trophies for the champions. The event was officiated by WKF sanctioned referees. Hundreds of spectators attended. The karateka of MDG were the stars of the day!

All of this is only possible because of your support, because of the donations that we receive from you, our supporters around the world. Well over half of Maison de la Gare’s total funding comes from your individual donations through GlobalGiving in the US, Europe, and Australia, through Canada Helps and the C.F. Johnston Foundation in Canada, and through direct donations to us in Saint Louis, Senegal. Nearly all of the karate program is funded from private donations through GlobalGiving, Canada Helps and the c.f. Johnston Foundation in Canada.

We are deeply grateful, and we are committed to making every dollar, every pound and every euro count in giving these precious children the chance for a better future.

karate camp attendees with their new shirts
karate camp attendees with their new shirts
Young karateka during grading
Young karateka during grading
Tournament Day
Tournament Day
And the competition is on!
And the competition is on!
Young grading candidates in the dojo
Young grading candidates in the dojo

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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
$3,700 raised of $6,000 goal
 
62 donations
$2,300 to go
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