To help Children
who live in very difficult circumstances to :
- return to their families
- learn some skills
- be able to support themselves
A short history of the Association :
The Association was founded in 1997. Some Christians were concerned with the problem of street children and decided to do something about it. The association was officially recognised in 1998.
One of the members, who was in fact at the origin of the association, went to the formation centre for social workers at Gawa, to follow a course for three years. His name is Lucien Sow.
He graduated in 2001 with his diploma and started working with Fr. Toni Weidelener, M.Afr., looking for a place to open a home for some children who were willing to leave the street. After a site had been found, Fr. Pierre Béné came to Ouagadougou and relieved Fr Weidelener from the responsibility of this task.
The first five children and youth came to the new home in March 2002. The number then rose to 12. Among those who entered this first home, 5 returned to their families and others came to take their place. Some children also went back to their families without residing in the home. Some also went back to the street, tempted by the life they had lived there.
The children who live at the home are also fed, their health is taken care of, and they are entrusted to local craftsmen to learn a skill of their choice. Most of them become tailors and mechanics (motorbike or motor-car). A general formation is also given at the home; reading and writing lessons. Some children attend evening classes in surrounding schools according to the their educational level.
The children who return to their families are also entrusted to craftsmen where they live. They receive a small allowance because it is difficult to learn a skill on an empty stomach, and their families are generally poor.
On novembre 1st 2003, a small formation centre was opened in another area of the town, for children who are still in the street. They can come to the centre 4 mornings a week and learn mechanics, tailoring and painting on cloth (making cards for sale). At first there were as many as 17 children and these numbers increased with time.
Presently, we have only one centre, and this includes both the home and the formation centre. The centre is in Cissin, sector n° 17 in Ouagadougou. It started functioning in October 2005.
According to your age, your skills, your commitments:
= Contact us (see the telephone numbers and addresses below)
= Get to know the environment of the children, with the help of the animation team.
= Contribute materially: subscription, gift of clothes, books, copy-books, or other class material.
= Sponsor one or more child.
= For those who live in Ouagadougou, take part in the teaching program and the formation.
= Give out information about Taab Yinga in the place where you live and work.
= All propositions are welcome.
We are looking for funds in order to build
- a proper place for the welding workshop (the children are presently working under a very rudimentary shed)
- two offices because we need more places to talk with the boys and girls of the centre and their families.
If you want to make a gift :
- There is the postal account of Pierre Béné :
Account n° : Pierre Béné Lyon 236138 V
If you want more information, you can send a mail to :
email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also write a cheque to : "SMA-Pères Blancs" and send it to the following address, mentioning you wish to help the Taab Yinga project in Burkina Faso :
Economat provincial (Provincial bursar)
5 rue Roger Verlomme, 75003 Paris
Tel : 01.42.71.06.70
FAX : 01.48.04.39.67
E-Mail : email@example.com
Thanking you in advance in the name of the children
The Association is in Cissin, Ouagadougou, sector n° 17
Tel : 00 226 50 43 11 43 Fax : 00 226 50 43 12 00
The president of the Association : Mme Michèle Linko : tel (226) 70 17 80 83
Le secrétaire exécutif : Mr Edgar Bafo : tel (226) 70 26 99 25
Directeur du Centre : Mr Lucien Sow, éducateur spécialisé. Tel : (226) 70 26 29 75
La gestionnaire : Mme M. Madeleine Ky : tel (226) 70 12 05 40
Père Pierre Béné : Tel (226) 50 30 64 89 / (226) 70 26 23 04
(Missionnaire d'Afrique, Pères Blancs) conseiller spirituel de l'association
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com
Postal address : Association TAAB YINGA
s/c Missionnaires d'Afrique
01 BP 630 Ouagadougou 01
The association is officially recognised since 1998
Acknowledgement n° 98-154-MATS 07/05/1998
* * *
What it is like to live in the streets
The risks of living in the streets can be described as: firstly, the children are ignored by most people in town, despised as robbers, threatened by the police. They often fight one another for various reasons, the younger ones might be abused by the older ones; they can easily get sick, they become dependent on drugs, or even on money, as they can get it without much effort when they are well trained in stealing cellular phones or other valuable items.
They survive in helping women who sell food, carrying and washing their pots and plates; they wash car windscreens, push old cars to help them start. Many of them beg, sell newspapers or chewing-gum and, for the lucky ones, cellular phone cards. But as mentioned above, they very often steal from passer-bys or rob the younger ones among them.
Why did these children leave their homes and villages to come to Ouagadougou? There are many reasons: their families may be poor, the parents may not get on well together, their mother may have died or been dismissed by her husband. Sometimes, the children are ill-treated. Any situation that makes the child feel unhappy can cause his or her departure from home.
There is also the hope of finding something else, something better, a job, something to eat, and mostly some affection, in another place. Young men who have been to Ouagadougou and have come back home make them dream of "something else". Soon enough, they discover that the reality is quite different from their initial dream.
Will we be able to help them find what they are looking for? There is always hope for a new start. But they have to learn to build on reality as it is, not as they dream it.
The activities of the association
1. Contacting Street Children (the basis of everything)
First we have to know where the children meet, go there at various times, to listen, to get to know their difficulties (hunger, injury, drugs…)
This the only way to get to know every child as an individual : his place of birth, his family (maybe he has an uncle or somebody in town), his background: his desires, what he wants to achieve and if we can help him to reach his goal. It takes time to observe each one, and to decide if we should invite him to reside at the home, or to return to his or her family straight away. This is often possible, if the child has not spent too much time in the street. We do not propose a formation in a skill if the child is still sleeping in the street, because we know he will not be regular, and the formation will not succeed.
2. The residential home: presently 24 kids are resident.
There is enough space for 48 young people. However, we realise that would be too many people at once, so we keep the numbers down.
The objective is to help the children start a new life :
- regularity and discipline, in an organised group.
- eat a proper food, be clean, be properly dressed, and get to like it.
- live in harmony with the neighbours of the centre.
- start to learn a skill, either at the workshops in the centre, or, for the older ones, with a craftsman in the neighbourhood.
- re-start general formation if it has been interrupted, go to evening classes according to the level of each boy, or go to school for the younger ones.
- begin general formation for those who have not yet had any : learn to read and write, in French.
- at the end of his formation, the graduating children will receive some material and financial help to begin a new life with a job in their hands.
3. The workshops in the formation centre
The workshops are situated in the same compound the home, but the children coming in from the street each day do not have access to the home. Nevertheless some children from the home do attend the formation in the centre, because they are too young, or not mature enough to go to a workshop outside the centre. There about 30 children presently receiving a formation in the formation centre. We have four instructors.
- observe the children while they are learning a skill, and establish a personal relation with every one of them.
- give the bases for a future formation in four areas - more when we can afford it :
* mechanics (motorbike)
* painting on cloth (cards) and serigraphy
- decide the orientation to give to each one, according to what we observe :
* staying at the home
* returning to their family, and entrusting them to craftsmen in town
- give a general formation (reading and writing, evening classes for those who can follow at this level)
Our main objective : get the children back to their families
All we do, whether it be with the children or with the adults, all the formation given in and outside our centre, all this aims at getting the children back to their families, so that they can achieve a proper place in society. It takes time; every one has his own story, his ups and downs, his victories and his defeats.
So far we have managed to get more than 100 kids back into their families. Some of them are still depending on us to a certain degree, but a good number have become completely independent, even if we carry on following their evolution in their new environment.
The main step is the moment when the child learns to trust the person trying to help him. The proof of this is when he finally accepts to give his true name and surname and accepts that we contact his family. Then follows the first home visit with the child himself, either in Ouagadougou or in his home village, Later, we will propose a short stay in his family to see whether he is ready to return. Everyone has his own rhythm, his own history, and we try to respect that.
Follow up :
" Even when a child has gone back to stay with his parents, or an uncle, we continue to visit regularly. If his home is far away, we work through social workers we know in the area.
" This is also valid for those who are learning a skill in a workshop, or have found a job: they too need continuing help and follow up, especially when it comes to handling money.
Thanks to an educational tool made by the G.R.A.A.P. (Group for Research and Self Promotion of Populations) at our request, we can help children and adults reflect and share about the problem of street children, who have left their families and are lost.
- we look at the situation as it is
- we ask questions about the causes and consequences of this situation
- we look together for solutions