Our society is composed of different layers that can be categorized according to one’s ability to meet his or her basic needs. Within these different categories, you can especially see the reality and challenges of young girls. These young girls can find themselves on the street and at risk of many dangers, such as prostitution and teen pregnancy.
It is rare to meet a person in our society who has not met or seen a street child. But, usually people pass these children on the street and don’t give thought to the state of the child.
This leaves me to ponder two questions :
- How did these children come to be on the street (malnutrition, orphans, family poverty, failure at school)?
- Who will take care of their basic needs now and in the future ?
MindLeaps is learning the answer to #1 as we continue our work in Guinea, and we are providing an answer for #2. Indeed, it is our objective to find these children, educate them and reintegrate them back into society so they will have a different vision and a constructive life.
With the girls, we are specifically focused on making sure they can sufficiently meet their basic needs ; through this, we want to change their feelings of abandonment and worthlessness.
There are three particular girls in our program that have proven to me that this change is possible : Fatim Sylla, Fatou Camara and Sylla Kadiatou. Watching these girls thrive at MindLeaps has inspired me to deepen our commitment to serving more girls.
Ansoumane Conde is Country Director for MindLeaps Guinea.