Our Ministries in Thiès, Senegal, in times of pandemic

Article by the Communities of West Africa: Senegal/Burkina Faso.


The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd in Senegal would like to share about the three ministries we offer in Thiès, Senegal: The 'Marie Droste Class' entrepreneurship skills training, the sewing workshop, and the 'La Prairie' childcare center.


The Maria Droste Class and the sewing workshop

The women and girls in the Maria Droste Class during the cooking module

The Maria Droste Class and the sewing workshop are ministries offered in the city of Thiès to vulnerable women and girls at risk who are socially excluded. Among the main problems they face are poverty, early and unintended pregnancies, and lack of education. 

The women and girls form part of the vocational training project for employment which aims to enable all women and girls to regain their dignity by carrying out income-generating activities that improve their living conditions and allow them to become self-sufficient and economically independent. This year, 15 women and girls attend the Maria Droste Class, and two (one woman and a girl) attend the sewing workshop, which commenced earlier this year.

One of the women who receive training at the sewing workshop working on a new garment

The Maria Droste Class offers professional training through theoretical and practical courses in cooking, pastry baking, food hygiene, nutrition and catering technology, literacy and numeracy, household maintenance (hygiene modules), human rights, entrepreneurship skills, and violence against women. The women attending the sewing workshop have made aprons, hats, and gloves for the trainees who attend the Maria Droste Class.

Once the women and girls have completed their entrepreneurship skills training, they will be able to access meaningful employment or form themselves into an EIG (Economic Interest Group) to offer cooking or pastry baking services for various social or family events, etc. Those who complete the sewing workshop training will make the uniforms for our two vocational training centers (Thiès and Dakar), our childcare center, and offer their services to the public.


'La Prairie' childcare center

The infants and young children dressing up and having fun with the sisters and teachers at Christmas and on Shrove Tuesday

On November 14, 2020, the birthday of our spiritual father, Saint John Eudes, we had the joy of opening the 'La Prairie' childcare facilities with the section for infants and young children. The facilities are in a beautiful location in a new district of the city and are suitably equipped for training and education purposes. The infants and children who attend come from the local neighborhood or belong to the women in the Marie Droste Class.

Parties and games form an integral part of their learning; so, at Christmas, on birthdays, and on Shrove Tuesday, the children celebrated by playing, dancing, singing, and dressing up. They actively take part by helping the teacher and the sisters decorate and prepare for each event.

The children who attend follow the national educational curriculum proposed for all childcare centers in Senegal. We aim to provide quality preschool education and instill human values in the children to enable them to grow in their personal and social development.