4 Dec. 2019
Saint Louis, Senegal
Demba, 8, a Koranic student, called a talibe, attends karate training in the courtyard of Maison de la Gare, an organisation that helps talibe street children reintegrate into society, in Saint-Louis, Senegal, February 8, 2019. "My older brother brought me to the daara in Saint-Louis to learn Koran. We don't eat at the daara, they send us to beg. Everyday I have to bring back between 500 and 1000 francs to the marabout (Koranic teacher). If I fail, I'm sent back to the streets and I can only come back after I've collected the right amount. Sometimes I'm forced to spend the night outside," Demba said. "I'm learning karate so I can defend myself from the ones stronger than me. One day my mates from the daara and I were forced to stay out at night. At 6 a.m., a drunk man attacked us and took all the money we collected. I can't forget that. I decided to learn how to defend myself. Maison De la Gare gives me this opportunity. I also want to become a soldier to defend people and help them live in peace," he added. "I no longer feel anything towards my parents and I don't even know if I'm angry at them or not." REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo. SEARCH "GLOBAL POY" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2019 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.