At the beginning of 2014 we opened the centre and welcomed the first children. The number of children was limited to eight. These were challenging cases or severely traumatized children.
The team had the opportunity to lern the ropes and build reasonable structures. We have accommodate children where all measures in the social environment have failed. These are children in dire straits who usually end up on the street, in prison, in slavery, in prostitution or early death. Unfortunately, because of the Ebola epidemic, we had to greatly reduce access to the centre and operations at that time. In 2015, the epidemic decreased and we were trained and prepared for emergencies in the meantime. In October 2015, we therefore resumed complete operations in the fenced main building on the street.
In autumn 2016 we were able to complete the construction work on the 4 other buildings. These buildings are situated backwards and are not observably from the street. They are fenced too and provide the necessary security for the care of infants.
With the move to the large area with the 4 buildings, we can finally increase the number of children we temporarily look after in the reception centre.
The children learn to laugh again and get school lessons. It is important that they return to their relatives and attend school in the medium- to long-term. We are working on that, together with the social environment of the child and the authorities. If the integration fails, we get a place in a well-run orphanage as ultimate measure. Experience shows that integration is mostly achieved.
We are planning on our site the construction and operation of studios for the vocational training of young people. We started in 2017 with a sewing studio for single, young mothers without education. Far advanced is the planning for the construction and operation of a bread oven. There is not a single bakery in the village of Mangueta with over 2000 inhabitants. Such projects offer vocational training, create jobs and, if managed well, generate a return on the costs.
We have good contacts with the local population, with local aid agencies and authorities with whom we work closely. We in Switzerland recognise and respect the enormous work that Kémoko Touré is doing with his team in Guinea.