From Child Beggar to Hero: Video Game Shows Suffering of Senegal Street Children

Barefoot, a bucket underneath one arm, Senegalese child pauper Mamadou dodges cars, taxis and buses on a pell-mell streets of Dakar as he searches for his relatives in a wish of going home.

Mamadou is a illusory star of “Cross Dakar City,” a mobile video diversion that aims to lift recognition of a predicament of tens of thousands of children in Senegal who are exploited and forced to desire in a streets by teachers during Koranic schools.

Some relatives in Senegal and adjacent countries who miss a income to move adult their children, send them to Islamic schools, or daaras, in Dakar — awaiting them to accept food, preserve and teachings from a Koran.

FILE - A Koranic tyro sleeps with his vagrant play covering his face in a unprepared initial building of a building that serves as both classroom and vital space for a dozens of students during his propagandize in Dakar, Senegal, Aug. 31, 2010.
FILE – A Koranic tyro sleeps with his vagrant play covering his face in a unprepared initial building of a building that serves as both classroom and vital space for a dozens of students during his propagandize in Dakar, Senegal, Aug. 31, 2010.

But rights groups contend a children, famous as talibe, are mostly exploited by violent teachers as a approach to make money.

“I wanted to prominence a dangers confronting a talibe — they face beatings, kidnappings and passionate abuse,” a game’s creator, Ousseynou Khadim Bèye, told a Thomson Reuters Foundation forward of International Day for Street Children on Apr 12.

“They also live in terrible conditions, miss entrance to electricity or water, and have really small food,” pronounced Bèye, 32, who complicated program engineering in Dakar and combined a diversion in his gangling time from his pursuit for an appetite organisation in Paris.

The game, modeled on a 1980s traffic-dodging arcade strike “Frogger,” sees players beam Mamadou opposite Dakar’s streets while avoiding removing struck by yellow taxis, horse-drawn carts and automobile rapides — Senegal’s iconic colorful mini-buses.

FILE - Koranic students memorize verses in a propagandize where they live and study, in Dakar, Senegal, Aug. 31, 2010.
FILE – Koranic students memorize verses in a propagandize where they live and study, in Dakar, Senegal, Aug. 31, 2010.

“Cross Dakar City” has been downloaded 50,000 times by mobile users given it was expelled in May 2015, and Bèye hopes it will encourage uninformed discuss among politicians and a public.

More than 50,000 children are estimated to be in violent daaras in Senegal, and face punishments such as beatings with whips, timber and wire if they destroy to move in 2,000 CFA francs ($3) per day, according to Human Rights Watch.

Senegal upheld a law in 2005 directed during interlude a abuse of a talibe, though usually a dozen teachers have given been prosecuted.

“For as prolonged as we can recall, these kids have been on a streets. Governments come and go, though a problem still exists,” pronounced Bèye, who skeleton to make a 3-D chronicle of a diversion and emanate other mobile games about informative and amicable issues in Africa.

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