"Hadiza, 11 months old, suffering from noma, is referred to us by Zinder National Hospital, with necrosis of the face: a lesion on the right cheek and part of the left cheek, damage to the chin and swelling of the right eye. She is dying. "
As little as she is, Hadiza decides to fight, surrounded by her mother and specialist doctors in Switzerland who advise us accurately as a matter of urgency. Each day is a battle with death, with the disease that is eating away at her flesh and leaving a gaping wound open to all infections. And then, three months later, here is Hadiza, crying again, or smiling, her eyes begin to question the world again, her little body accepts the caress of the rain or the heat of the sun. She is making good progress in going forward with her life.
" In a very small house, the poorest of the poor, we find Julia, 13 years old, her mother, her grandmother and her two brothers. Julia starts to cry and tells us about the sexual abuse that she suffers from of her brother Miguel, 16. "
The grandmother breaks down, the mother digs in her heels. She defends her son and shows herself to be very hard on Julia. We try to pacify the mother, who denies the facts and we calm Julia down. She comes back to the Home with us. The day's emotions have been so strong that in the evening Julia has an attack of tachycardia. We take her to the hospital. Physically, she is well, the problem is emotional. Julia, in the protective framework of our Home, follows a psychotherapy, which should allow her, if not to forget, at least to overcome the trauma linked to sexual abuse and to take up the thread of her life once again with confidence.
" Modou, 7 years old, was seen in the street, limping and grimacing with the pain. Some women called him over and took off his clothes: they were horrified! His back was covered with purulent wounds, his left thigh very swollen and his stomach showed severe lesions."
Modou admits having been beaten by his marabout and his assistant for having used a part of his takings from begging, the equivalent of 20 Swiss centimes, to buy something to eat. The hospital in Kaolack contacted us. Horrified by the condition of the child, we alerted the press and advised the little boy's father to lodge a complaint against the Koranic master. Verdict at the trial: a 3-year prison sentence and 300,000 CFA in damages. If it is rare for a complaint to be lodged against marabouts, it is even more rare for one of them to receive a prison sentence. This is a big step forward in our fight against the exploitation of Talibe children.