The Situation: Street Children Exploitation
Mali is predominantly a Muslim country. Every year thousands of young kids are given to teachers of the Muslim Koran by their parents in the hope their children will receive a Koranic education.
Exploitation of boys attending Koranic schools is well documented. Some Koranic teachers use their students as means to improve their own wealth. They exploit them by making them beg off the streets where they live and the teacher takes all the money and materials they get for himself. Not only do these children do not get the education their parents were promised but their health and general well being is severely jeopardised being exposed to the harsh world on the streets.
There is a general feeling in the Mali community that students of the Koran are burdens of society. This is because after their teaching is finished they find it very hard to get a job. They have no skills or general knowledge to go back into Malian society. Often they turn back to living on the streets.
There are 35 such Koranic students living and working off the streets in Kalabankoro Kulaba. The reality of the lives of these boys is harsh.
The Mali Initiative approached the Koranic teacher with the idea of supplementing the boy’s education with French classes. With the ability to read and write French, the boys would be able to find jobs later in their lives and take a more active part in Malian society. The Koranic teacher accepted the proposal of French classes for his students.
Sponsorship of these street children will covers the annual cost to provide dinners before lessons, appropriate tutoring and materials.