News from Maison de la Gare

The Feast of Korité

A difficult time for talibé children is transformed to a moment of joy

The Korité festival organized by Maison de la Gare turned a difficult ordeal into a moment of pure happiness for the talibé children. During Ramadan, they spend arduous days fasting and begging, receiving little food. But thanks to Maison de la Gare’s support, these vulnerable children receive hearty meals every evening during the "Ndogou", the breaking of the fast. Maison de la Gare's support has been like magic for them.

Muslims around the world mark the end of Ramadan with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. In Senegal, this is known as Korité. It is a highlight of the year, celebrated with feasting, family gatherings and new clothes.

For most Senegalese children, Korité is an occasion for them to gather with family and friends. For the begging talibé children, however, it can be a very difficult and sad time, as they are effectively social outcasts and have little or no contact with their families. They are far from home, and do not have the financial means to buy new clothes for the celebration, unlike other children in the country. And, as during other months of the year, their lives in their daaras are very challenging, without adequate means of subsistence and receiving only a strict religious education.

So, Maison de la Gare’s celebration of the Korité holiday was magical for the children. They were given soccer jerseys, a gift that helps them to feel included in the festivities. In a way, they could feel at one with other children around the country celebrating playing much loved games of soccer. With there new jerseys, the talibé children could take part in the Korité celebrations with pride and joy, feeling included in the festivities and wearing new clothes for this special occasion. This strengthened their sense of belonging to their community and let them celebrate this important holiday with dignity and respect.

The talibé children came to Maison de la Gare’s center on Korité for a day of happiness and fun, enjoying a festive experience like other children. These vulnerable children felt included and valued. The presentation of the soccer jerseys was a special occasion for them. The centre was packed with talibés from many daaras who had come to receive their new jerseys. They were eager and excited to receive them, to be able to wear them proudly on the playing fields.

It was a long-awaited day, and the children were delighted to receive these gifts, which brought them a great deal of happiness. Just receiving something new and special, a football jersey, made their eyes shine and put smiles on their faces. The attention they received made them feel valued and respected.

The children expressed their gratitude. They thanked the staff with warm words and hugs. For many of these children who live in such precarious conditions, this simple gesture of kindness was a great comfort and boosted their self-confidence. It is an example of how seemingly small actions can have a valuable impact on the children’s lives, bringing joy and hope.

Of course, Maison de la Gare's work goes far beyond distributing football jerseys. With your support, we offer the talibé children access to education, basic healthcare and protection from violence and exploitation. We also work with local communities and throughout Senegal to raise awareness of children's rights and to promote healthier and fairer practices.