Maison de la Gare (MDG) is a Senegalese non-profit non-governmental organization, founded in 2007, whose objective is to protect the rights of the begging talibé street children by improving their living conditions and level of education, while providing much needed primary aid, in and around the community of Saint-Louis. These boys are often sent by their families to study with marabouts, religious scholars who may house the children in their Quranic schools, called daaras.
Although the talibés are meant to receive a basic education and to learn the Quran, in fact they are most often found in the streets where they beg for 6 to 10 hours a day for their food and a quota of money. They live in primitive daaras without access to drinking water or basic hygiene facilities, and with only rudimentary shelter. Maison de la Gare challenges this reality by providing a safe haven for runaway talibé children in the city of Saint-Louis, and giving them professional training and new life opportunities.
Maison de la Gare’s ability to sustain their activities has been facing a crisis. After eight years of support, March 2020 marked the end of their grants from the Global Fund for Children. The United Nations Slavery Fund supported them from 2013 to 2018, their maximum for consecutive years of sustained contribution. And their European Union grant ended on December 31st, 2019. They have made applications to two United Nations funds for new funding for 2020, but it will only suffice to sustain a minimal level of on-going activity, nowhere near sufficient for the needs that they are addressing.
In light of the organisation’s current financial context, Nicola Graham from Octopus Investments is going on TIE to help Maison de la Gare scope new funding opportunities to sustain their programs, and develop an actionable strategy so they can achieve financial sustainability in the future and not find themselves in this situation again. You can read more about her here.