The Franciscan Missionary sister of Mary came to Dakar in 1948 to support the main hospital of Dakar. Quickly there main objective was to continue strengthening small children whom were treated for malnutrition, Kwashiorkor (an illness smaller children can have as a result from a longterm lack of protein) and denutrition and that were forced to leave the hospital prematurely. In time there mission and location changed. They came to the observation that children’s mortality rate decreased dramatically when they were well fed and nourished in the first three years of there lives.
Now days, they have a three story well maintained building surrounded by some other housing complexes in the Medina quarter. There main mission is to strengthen children from mothers with difficulties (mothers in prostitution, addicted to drugs,…) or families in need for help in the first three years of there lives. The mission also takes care of orphans. An average of 70 children, ages 0 to 3 are taken care of in the shelter.
Whenever possible the mission also includes the family in the proces with the intention to return those children to there families whenever possible. Food and medical care are one of the basics children need and are provided by the sisters and some local stagiares from the onside nursery school. But a sincere and warm feeling towards the children from the staff is what strikes the most. Whenever soeur Grazyna walks through the mission, all of the children start smiling and extend there little hands and start screaming there joy. Soeur Grazyna and here team do care about those children and in doing so, providing some warmth and comfort we all need from time to time.
Although the mission is well structured and sponsored by the Senegalese government and many other organization (Even the city of Madrid), soeur Grazyna could always use some help feeding, nursing and playing with the children. Furthermore clothes for smaller children are always highly welcomed. Before going to the mission, please contact soeur Grazyna and advise here from your visit.
Getting there: A taxi to the Medina quarter can be taken just outside the Novotel main entrance, they have some pricing agreement with the Hotel but any other taxi in the street a bit further from the hotel can help you as well. Always clearly negotiate the price before getting in the taxi. A single trip from the plateau-area to the Medina quarter should be around 1500 CFA, ask your driver if there is an extra charge for waiting outside La Pouponniére.