In 2006, we visited with a friend, who lives since 1992 with his Swiss wife and two children in St. Gallen, his home country Guinea. He knows the problems of street children from his own experience.
We experienced Guinea as a wonderful country with very warm-hearted people who, despite poverty and difficult social conditions, show an admirable will to live.
The living conditions of the people there – and especially of the children – shocked us a lot and we wanted to help. That’s why we founded the association. Mamadou & Bineta should be religiously and politically independent, help children on the streets, train and educate children, provide preventive assistance, cooperate with other stakeholders, the population and competent public authoroties, and in the long-term lead to a self-supporting structure.
Namesake is the standard work “Mamadou & Bineta”, which has been used since 1950 in French-speaking countries in West Africa. It´s a widely common teaching material for reading and writing in schools. Texts and bi-color illustrations tell stories from the life of the boy Mamadou and the girl Bineta (publisher: EDICEF, 58, rue Jean-Bleuzen, F-92178 VANVES Cedex).
In the first years we took numerous smaller measures (food, clothing, school fees, care in prisons, etc.). However, these punctual actions were not enough to improve the children’s really precarious situation permanently. That’s why, starting in 2010, we worked even more intensively on the causes and developed sustainable programs.