A welcoming centre designed for the needs of the street children of Dakar

To enable the children facing insuperable difficulties to reconstruct their lives, Samusocial Sénégal is building a welcome and accommodation centre in Dakar. A new structure to battle the scourge of abandoned children.

Social and Employment

Dakar, Senegal

Jean-Claude Dupont

60,000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/01/27

Project leader

Samusocial Sénégal

Site Internet du Samusocial Sénégal

« The structured approach that Samusocial Sénégal proposes enables the lucky recipients to be welcomed, and for those who want to change their lives, to make the transition between a childhood in the streets and a return to equilibrium, towards a life project which must be built gradually over time.
The youth under 20 account for more than half of the population of Senegal. They represent the future of this country, and our modest contribution to their education sets the stage for future improvements. »

Jean-Claude Dupont

More than half of the population of Senegal are under 20.
In Dakar, many children are left to their own devices and are abandoned in the street. Since 2003, Samusocial Sénégal, a Senegal law association, has decided to come to their aid. It is developing two types of project to achieve this.

Its mobile aid teams (EMA) crisscross the town night and day. On board a readily identifiable van, a social worker, a doctor and a driver head out to meet the youths from broken families or socially sidelined, and provide them with emergency aid and the protection they desperately need.

In addition, for those at the highest risk, Samusocial Sénégal has a welcome and accommodation centre. Over there, those whose state of physical health demands care benefit from a medical surgery open round the clock, seven days a week, and a permanent infirmary there keeps the children needing constant medical observation.

Accommodating 300 children per year

Until now, Samusocial Sénégal has rented the premises of the welcome centre in homes not really appropriate to this type of service, relatively expensive, and with the constant threat of expulsion. It finally decided to build its own building, with an optimal specification for the association's needs.

Thus in the coming centre, medical activities - office for doctors, nurses (one of them being reserved for highly contagious diseases such as tuberculosis) - will be placed on the ground floor. On the far side of a central garden, the kitchens, the changing rooms for the staff and the rooms reserved for maintenance, will abut the 95 m2 reserved for the children: rooms for play and for literacy, an interview room for individual meetings and psychological observation, a TV and dining room.

The upper floors will accommodate administrative activities, conference rooms and offices of the social workers, as well as several small dormitories - including one with a bedroom with private bathroom for the young girls.

Vagrant children, beggars, young workers, accompanied children: the boys and girls up to 16 years of age will be the priority beneficiaries of this project.
With seventeen dormitory beds and five beds in the infirmary, three hundred children will be able to benefit from this future structure every year.