A group of 35 women come together to fight against child exploitation in the streets of Senegal. They create an independent, non-profit NGO called the Daara de Malika (the Arabic word ‘Daar’ translates as a home or welcoming centre) to provide homeless children with a safe living environment.
The Daara de Malika was constructed on a two-hectare plot of land generously donated by the Senegalese government. It is located in an impoverished region in the village of Malika, situated in the outskirts of the capital Dakar.
January 8, 1980
The Daara de Malika is officially inaugurated in the presence of the first President of the Republic of Senegal, Mr. Léopold Sédar Senghor, as well as his Prime Minister of the time, Mr. Abdou Diouf. Home to 16 children at the time of its opening, the Daara has since grown to include over 270 boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 19 years old; approximately 60 of these underprivileged children currently live at the Daara on a full-time basis.
Management of the Daara is placed under the responsibility of the Senegalese chapter of the Association internationale francophone des aînés (AIFA).
Young children between the ages of 5 and 15 years old complete six years of primary studies at the Daara de Malika in order to pass the nationwide ministerial examinations and pursue their education at the secondary and university levels. Older students who find themselves unable to successfully pass these examinations may instead take part in a professional training programme offered by the Daara. These programmes include woodworking, poultry farming, agriculture, computer technology, basket weaving, pottery, and ceramics, among others. Endowed with such skills and competencies, these children are able to successfully make a living and thereby contribute to the socioeconomic development of their communities.