Street kids are fed and cared for every morning in the facility of a school for the deaf (which is a wonderful story unto itself of Christians making education and the Gospel available to children who have literally no other opportunity for education or even compassion in that culture – but I will leave that for another time). Most of the children who are cared for in this program are boys sent to the city by parents who cannot afford to feed them. The parents put these boys called Talibe (from the Arabic for “disciple”) under the alleged care of a Koranic teacher who supposedly houses and feeds the boys and teaches them the Koran. However, in reality the boys live in filth with very little shelter, and are forced to beg on the streets each day. They have a quota to meet which is very challenging because there are so many of them doing this. If they don’t meet their quota, they aren’t fed and are frequently and brutally beaten. If they do meet their quota, they are given a small handful of rice – period.
There are a number of feeding programs that we work with in Senegal. In one, the numbers have grown in just the last couple of months from 35 to 50 children coming each day, straining the funds and resources of the center. The leader has been desperately trying to figure out how to pay for the increased food needed since they were running on a tight budget even before this increase. The children are fed each morning, and told a story from the Bible. They can shower three times per week and once or twice per week are allowed to wash their clothes at the school or exchange their ragged shirts and shorts for clean ones. You can see from the attached picture I took when I visited this program last September that no matter what their circumstances, the boys love to clown for the camera. They really feel safe when they are at this school. Every year, a number of these kids end up leaving the Talibe master and coming under the care of the people who run this and other Christian schools around the City.
If you would like to be part of this incredible ministry, you can give a gift through GO on the Mission. In the sections at the bottom of the page put “Feeding Street Kids.”
You can tell we are high on what God is doing in the lives of these kids through these programs. In this picture you can see that in spite of their circumstances, these boys love to clown for the camera. This also shows you how safe the boys feel being in this facility and off the streets for a little while.