A Tremplin (Springboard) to build an adult life

On the banks of Lake Rose, 30 km from Dakar, the association Village-Pilote is creating a welcoming center for "street children". At the "Tremplin", they will learn the rules of community life and acquire the solid foundations of a craft connected with the building trades.

Social and Employment

Pikine (Dakar suburbs), Senegal

Jean-Luc Davoisne, Veolia

30,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2008/07/01

Project leader


« The "Village-Pilote" project fits into several areas: outreach, workforce development and environmental conservation. It takes the children out of the street, trains them and gives them the possibility of finding a job by teaching them ecological management of water, waste and energy. This is a very well thought out life project. »

Jean-Luc Davoisne

In 2003, the association Village-Pilote created a welcome and home center for street children at Pikine, in the Dakar suburbs: the "Refuge".
Over there, youths in serious difficulty find both food and rest, as well as leisure activities and, above all, moral and affective support from the adults who staff the center.
The aim of this project is obviously to protect them, but also to offer them the care (health and hygiene) that was so far - nearly - beyond their reach, and then to help them rebuild a future.

At the Refuge, the youths stay long enough to restore a link with their families, or remain even longer if this proves impossible. The people who run the Refuge organize a longer stay in this case.

Classes of 25 youths

Some youths thus remain for several months at the Refuge, even as long as many years. When they turn 16, the question of their social and professional integration arises, because any return to the benches of a school has become virtually impossible.

For the 16-23 age bracket, Village-Pilote has therefore founded the "Tremplin", 30 km from Dakar, on the banks of Lake Rose. This facility, which can accommodate 25 youths, will offer them vocational training in the building trades and truck farming, as well as a space for culture and sports. Sufficiently far from Dakar to avoid the perils of the city, it will help restore hope in themselves and in the future.

From the outset of the project, the Tremplin is designed to be a workshop school.
A first class of youths will in fact take responsibility for building the kitchen, the storerooms, dormitories and the training center. This phase will last 20 months.
The trainees will learn the building trades "on the job", enabling them to find work outside later.

The second class of youths welcomed at the Tremplin will, in turn, build model homes, and will benefit from literacy courses and theoretical and practical training: they will learn hygiene and cooking, sports and culture, and truck farming ... so that they can quickly fly on their own wings.