The idea of your child having to spend even one night away from your protection and the comforts of home might be traumatic, so spare a thought for the tens of thousands of youngsters who are sleeping rough night after night on the streets of Senegal’s capital city Dakar. These vulnerable children often lack access to the basics they need to stay healthy. Keep reading to find out more about their plight, and what you can do to help.
The charity Human Appeal, which is involved in a project to help these youngsters, states on its website that around 50,000 children are living rough on the streets of this city. According to the organisation, the number of youngsters aged between four and 15 who are enduring this existence is rising. Many of these kids are sent to Dakar by their families, who are often based far away in rural parts of the country. They go to the city to gain religious instruction in schools known as daaras. However, many end up hungry and living on the streets. They are also vulnerable to slavery, child trafficking and forced begging.
Human Appeal points out that these children need immediate psychological support and medical attention, and they must also be reunited with their families.
Getting children off the streets
Although these youngsters are located thousands of kilometres away, there are steps you can take right here in the UK to help them. By donating to charities working in Dakar to provide support to children living on the city’s streets, you can dramatically improve their lives. Organisations on the ground in Dakar are providing these kids with accommodation, education, medical care, food, counselling, skills training and family mediation. As well potentially saving them from starvation, disease and violence, this aid helps to reintegrate the children into society and can dramatically improve their prospects for the future.
You can either make regular donations to help fund this work, or if you can’t commit to giving money on an ongoing basis, you can opt to make a one-off donation instead. Another way to do your bit for these desperate youngsters is to help increase awareness of the cause and encourage others to donate to charities. Whether you post information on social media or simply discuss the issue with your friends and family, putting the problem on people’s radars can result in more money being raised.
If you’d like to find out more about the projects being run to help the street children of Dakar, you can take a look at charity websites.
Dakar, Senegal map image via Shutterstock