The changing situation of minors in detention is one of Senegal's greatest current challenges. They become entrenched in a chaotic trajectory, thwarting both repressive judicial decisions and conventional educational measures. Yet few initiatives are devoted to them. The Escrime et Justice réparatrice method aims to fill this gap. Co-constructed with the Penitentiary Administration (PA), the aim is to foster the learning of life skills and offer the conditions for positive personal development that stimulates young people's empowerment, encourages gender equality and helps break the cycle of recidivism. Since 2015, over 600 detained minors have participated, none of whom have reoffended. These positive impacts have motivated the creation of this Academy with a view to national and international deployment.
The Association Pour le Sourire d’un Enfant was born in 1988 from a profound conviction: every child, without distinction, has rights (art. 2, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). This postulate inspired alternatives to street life and detention, based on fencing, artistic creation, and restorative justice. Its ambition is to contribute to the positive development of young people and to gender equality through the impact of its field actions on education, mental health, and sustainable inclusion.
No recidivism among the 600 young prisoners, grils and boys, who benefited from the Fencing and Restorative Justice method, including those who had previously been repeat offenders.