Talibés of Saint-Louis

Ex-French colony Saint-Louis is home to orphaned children, known as talibés, from all over Senegal.

The Islamic schools, referred to as daaras, provide a religious education and shelter for these unfortunate boys. With non-existent funds from the government, students are expected to beg, which provides the schools’ only source of income.

Daouda Diagne, teacher of French and co-founder of the Espoir des Enfants de la Rue school, showed us the children’s reality: we had to do something.

With little time and limited funds, we built a roof for one of the schools and supplied the students with books, pens and medicines. To make the exchange viable, we organised a talibé choir recording session, but we had not anticipated that music and singing would not be part of the curriculum.

The teachers’ attempts to assemble the children were unsuccessful, so we decided to try a call-and-response music lesson. This track is a remix of the children and additional instruments which were recorded back in Britain.

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