500,000 children spend their time begging on the streets of Senegal. They are 4-15 years old and are exposed to numerous dangers. These children lack in nutrition, clothing, and health.
In Senegal, many people believe that Islam encourages begging by emphasizing the benefits of charity. But it should be noted that Islam prohibits begging except in the case of a critical situation.
Some parents believe giving a religious education to their children through Koranic teachers without the means to support them.
“I sent my son to study at a Koranic school, but I was surprised to see him in the streets, trying to beg,” Abdoulaye Diene, a parent, says. However, the Koranic teachers have very few means, as a Koranic school is not a public entity that could receive a subsidy from the state.
“My husband is dead. I find it difficult to take care of all of my eight children. “I sent six of my children to beg,” the widow Marième Diouf explains.
Some children are victims of unfair exploitation due to their parents’ poverty, a situation that forces them to assume a heavy responsibility to feed and support their families.
In 2012, the Senegalese authorities adopted a law to end children beggars, but this law was not well received by the religious authorities and was withdrawn only three months later.