In one of the poorest neighborhoods of Dakar, a small clinic and school, the Derklé Center, run by les Soeurs de Saint Joseph de Cluny, provides healthcare and education for women and children of all ages. Run as an entirely secular organization, serving a client base that is predominantly Muslim, Derklé normally charges patients the equivalent of $1 per visit. However, it reduces or waives the fee in cases of extreme need.
At Derklé there is a family clinic where the sisters offer basic medical care and first aid. Each day, they treat large numbers of women and children suffering from malnutrition, malaria, and infections.
Derklé provides education on the importance of vaccination programs and nutrition in newborns, and gives fortified, enriched milk to children in cases where this makes the difference between a healthy start in life and starvation. Thanks to a single gift from a French friend of Le Korsa, we are able to fund the 5000 kilograms of fortified milk powder used annually at the clinic for the benefit of about 1400 children.
The Derklé Center houses a preschool with four classrooms for children aged 2 to 5. The program focuses on the teaching of French, since most of the children speak Wolof at home and need French when, at age six, they begin the schooling provided by the Senegalese government.
Derklé also has a trade school for teenage girls, specializing in sewing instruction and helping them become apprentices to local tailors. The goal is to offer these young women independence and, if they choose, a route other than very early marriage or poverty and a lack of control of their own destinies.