Of Willpower and of Courage
A pan-Africanist Giant, fierce, idealist, and rebellious in face of social injustice, passionate on the plight for homeless children.
Hulo was born and raised in Senegal until she was 21 years old. Though after 30 years of living abroad, the begging children remained in her memory: "I couldn't forget them, I had this in my mind, it was like a wound that would not heal. I was making petitions and collections for them, even from afar.”
After living in Abidjan, Paris, Reunion Island and Quebec, she has now settled in Toubab Dialaw where she was attracted by friends who look like her.
This pan-African writer, editor, activist and publisher has given up a long career as a consultant in New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) to return to her native country and lead the pan-African socio-political struggle that she has always been devoted to.
Hulo initiated a collective of associations called "Doyna Stop à la Mendicité des Enfants" in 2014. In the beginning, the collective was seen as an affront within social networks, because there was a religious taboo related to this cause. In fact, in Senegal, no one dared to say openly that those who exploit and abuse children "were criminals who needed to be locked up,” so the collective’s messages led to open struggles in the media and in large rallies.
Since then, there has been great changes in mentalities and a large part of the population now shares this awareness and condemns these crimes.
The collective is now made up of ordinary citizens and associations for the defense and protection of child beggars in Senegal. Contrary to the associations that come to the aid of begging children, the collective leads the struggle on the ideological and political terrain by calling on the state to solve the problem of these street children once and for all. Only the state has the governing power and potential political will to enforce actions throughout the country. Moreover, a law exists that punishes these crimes, but it is not enforced!
Hulo denounces and confronts the state with its responsibilities to protect children and asks that it finally respects its adherence to the international conventions committed to this issue.
She speaks out: “It is really time to find a lasting and definitive solution to this problem for these children that bad fate, indifference, and neglect of our state and our society tend to dehumanize... They are human beings and what’s more, they are children at very young ages!”
In addition, the collective decided to refuse all external funding in order to keep a clear, honest and independent line of action, and to show that the Senegalese can organize and denounce their problems themselves.
Hulo Guillabert's virulence and pugnacity, which greatly fuelled the visibility of the campaigns on social networks and in the media, made him the very embodiment of this struggle. This is how she was able to unite many people for the cause. "This will to rebel, to act and to assume her responsibilities in all circumstances, she acquired it from her father, a strong man with great values. He educated us the hard way, but at the same time, he showed us a lot of affection and left room for protest when he committed injustices against us.