Today, nearly 1 in 10 Senegalese children aged fourteen or younger are orphaned. These children are often barred from accessing the basic needs that are vital to their upward social and economic mobility. MAP’s mission is to ensure that every child is raised in an environment that sets them up for success, which includes providing basic needs, affection, and care for orphaned children.
Maison Sourire d’Enfants
This year, MAP launched its first Orphan Care program in Senegal by partnering with Maison Sourire d’Enfants (“Smile House”). Founded by Alba Carpineti and Fabrice Elie in October of 2016 to provide support for orphans in the small rural town of Mbodiène, the orphanage operates in close collaboration with the Senegalese government.
Most children at Maison Sourire d’Enfants are toddlers aged 0 to 2 years and stay an average of 18 months until a family member they can return to is identified. Currently, 24 children are cared for at the orphanage, with a maximum capacity of 30.
MAP’s grant to Maison Sourire d’Enfants funds the purchase of milk, food, and drinking water for all of the orphanage’s children. Your support not only means that these children’s most basic needs are met, but also that the staff at Maison Sourire d’Enfants now have the opportunity to focus on the love, fun, and emotional engagement critical to childhood development.
According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, babies’ brains form new connections at more than 1 million every single second—a pace never repeated again, evidence of the importance of the earliest years of a child’s life. The United Nations Children’s Fund describes that while “babies need nutrition, protection, and stimulation… too many children are still missing out on the ‘eat, play, and love’ their brain needs to develop.” The orphaned children of Senegal—like any other child around the world—require the invaluable care of loving adults. They did not choose to be orphaned. They are merely a product of an unequal global economic system they will only begin to comprehend years into their childhood.
We are honored to partner with Maison Sourire d’Enfants to provide the children with the love, compassion, care, and growth they need to thrive.