Michelle's Friday Project Update: Maison de la Gare

Have you ever wondered what happens to GO’s projects after the grant ends? Today I am going to update you on a project we completed last May but that is still giving hope to many.

Organization: Maison de la Gare (MDG)
Location: Saint Louis, Senegal

Context: Around 50,000 children in Senegal known as the talibés are forced to beg for up to ten hours a day. Many undergo extreme forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Though outlawed in 2005, this practice remains part of daily life and continues to endanger children..

Background: Local Hero Issa Kouyate founded MDG in an effort to end the practice of forced begging and to provide opportunities for the talibé children.

Project Outcome: In March 2014, GO Campaign approved a grant for $13,100 to assist MDG to build an emergency shelter where youth in crisis could live until they were returned home or a permanent living situation could be arranged. The project was successfully completed and today the shelter is a place of refuge for children. Children receive medical care, food, education, clothes, emotional support, hygiene services, and most of all, hope.

Meet Malick


Malick was sleeping on the streets for a week when MDG found him. Malick is Gambian; his family sent him to Senegal to study the Koran. When MDG found him, Malick was covered in wounds. He had been beaten by his marabout (Koranic teacher) and did not want to return to his daara (Koranic school). MDG investigated and simultaneously contacted Malick’s family who came to Saint Louis to bring Malick home. MDG worked with Malick’s parents to help them fully understand the conditions Malick was living in at his daara and the abuse he experienced. MDG continues to work and advocate on behalf of all the maltreated talibé so the abuse ends.

Current Status: Due to the success of this first collaboration with MDG, GO Campaign approved a second grant for $18,150 in May 2015. These funds are currently supporting a vocational training agriculture program so youth can learn marketable skills, find employment and thus break free of their daaras. Stay tuned for updates on this grant!