Many Muslims consider memorizing the Qur’an to be an honorable achievement. In Senegal, rural families send their young sons to study the holy text in distant city schools. These students, known as talibés, often must beg on the streets in order to support their religious education and financially strained instructors. While some believe that begging instills humility in the talibés, the practice has also generated humanitarian concerns. Responding to international pressure, in 2010, the Senegalese government began to enforce a law against forced child begging.
This project was a collaborative effort with Tostan, a non-profit organization with programming that helps the talibés.