Irene and Modou organize games, waiting for Ndogou
Irene Sanchez, Samba Ndong and Modou Samb mobilize the community during a difficult period for the talibé children
Ndogou is the traditional meal at dusk at which the fast is broken during the month of Ramadan. It is a time of great stress for the talibé children who are very affected by the period of fasting because of the near impossibility for them to find food during the days. Maison de la Gare has always provided a Ndogou meal for children in its center, but this can only reach a small fraction of the thousands of begging talibé children in Saint Louis.
The Pikine area of Saint Louis has a particularly high concentration of daaras and talibé children. This year, Maison de la Gare volunteer Irene Sanchez and staff members Samba Ndong and Modou Samb brought together a group of people determined to make this a better year for these children.
The result was amazing! The group provided the Ndogou meal to over 250 talibé children in Pikine every day during the month of Ramadan. A time of stress and hardship was turned into a time of fun and hope for these children.
The team organized this campaign during a crazy week before Ramadan, working with Maison de la Gare staff members Abou Sy and Malick Bâ. Abou's family in Pikine made their home available as a base of operations. The group was supported from the beginning by Amadou Camara and five young women from Pikine: Marie, Racky, Fatima, Oumou and Codou. Older talibés from Maison de la Gare's center also helped.
But how to fund this? Feeding 250 children every day is very expensive. The group raised an amazing $1,500 euros ($1,800) during the month to cover the cost, from door to door campaigning in Saint Louis, fundraising events by contacts of Irene in Spain, Association Jerejef (in Spain) and members of Association Hahatay Gandiol (near Saint Louis).
Association Jerejef's contribution made possible the highlight of the month, a very special event on the night of Laylatoul Xadr (the "Night of Destiny"). There were medical consultations for the children, games, distribution of new clothes for over two hundred talibés, and a very special meal of chicken and rice.
As Ramadan came to an end, the group was very satisfied with the results of their efforts. In addition to giving relief to hundreds of talibé children, they felt that these children had learned a great deal: being involved in new activities and learning new habits. In fact, the entire community was involved and we are certain that the impact will be long lasting.
Fundraising pamphlet circulated in Saint Louis
Abou Sy and community women prepare evening meal
16th day - Community women distribute evening meal
A feast for Laylatoul Xadr, the "night of destiny"
New clothes for the children on Laylatoul Xadr