The work of the Alliance for Solidarity in Mauritania dates back to 2001, with projects initially focused on making neighborhoods more livable in peripheries of Nouakchott and Nouadibou and building decent housing with access to plumbing and sanitation for its inhabitants.
Gradually this work evolved and under the Global Citizenship Program, environmental improvement is now accompanied by the improvement of living conditions, access to education and training, social participation of the population in development, and access to credit for starting small businesses that will generate revenue .
In 2010, an ambitious program funded by the Agencia Española de Cooperación – AECIDwas started. The program focuses on ensuring the right to education of children promoting the actions of all the social workers involved in educational improvement .
With an investment of 2,555,000 euros in four years, the project focuses on two main goals- to improve the quality of education offered, and to increase the involvement of the community and the agents responsible for the education of children.
The project works in ten schools in three different regions. In some cases, the project builds new schools and in others, it rehabilitates the existing ones to decrease the number of students per class and eliminate multi-grade classes.In addition, recess and rest space has been constructed, and recreational and cultural activities have been implemented for the children. The project has created more wholesome and adequate schools that offer higher quality education.
In addition to construction, we work with educational, familiar and social actors in these environments to ensure that schools are well managed, and that the associations connected with the school(especially fathers and mothers) can exercise their right to ensure quality education for their children. For this we create spaces where schools and civil societies can meetto reflect and seek common solutions to the problems associated with education.
Also, a small intervention for the improvement of schools in the Mauritanian populations bordering the field of Malian refugees is being carried out with funding from UNICEF.
One of the reasons for non-enrollment or dropout children in Mauritania is lack of economic resources of their families. Therefore, it is also essential to improve the conditions in which people access their livelihoods: training to find employment or to set up and manage a business, economic support to do so in the form of microcredit ...
In recent years Alliance for Solidarity has launched successful training initiatives in sewing, dyeing, cooking, languages, literacy, computer skills ... that targets migrant and local populations, and thus promotes integration.
The training (technical and financial) gives participants the ability to run their own individual or cooperative small businesses: scarf making, minirestaurantes, etc ... To ensure that these small businesses are sustainable, the training modules teach how to mantain good credit and manage small economic enterprises.
The provision of individual and group microcredit has been one of Alliance for Solidarity´s primary forms of aid since it began working in Mauritania.A few years ago we launched an initiative to establish community banks for the management of female credit. Through the created banks, the women themselves who benefit from the credit are responsible for managing it in a transparent manner. . Cooperatives that want to participate in the initiative adhere to and benefit from the interest rates that are much lower than thoes offered in official structures of microfinance. Access to viable credit is key to the economic development of these women and their families.
Among the especially vulnerable population in Mauritania are migrants. In Nouadibou, the country's economic capital which borders Morocco, thousands of migrants from varied origins (Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Gambia...) reisde amongst the local population. Most plan to stay in Mauritania and others are in the middle of their migration to Europe, waiting in Mauritania to make enough money to complete their journey.
Despite the added value that migrants bring to their companies, they are still marginalized in their host country. A lack of access to basic rights and services joins their growing rejection by the Mauritanian population.
Alianza por la Solidaridad has supported the work of a Catholic Mission in Nouadibouthat houses and provides services to the migrant population. The mission has also increased aid to the local population.
The mission hosts and assists people of any origin, status or religion: They are given room for a few days, and receive legal advice, health care, access to other associations, job support and training to find work.
Solidarity Alliance supports the Catholic Mission with providing training in management tools, formulating and implementing projects, accounting, psychosocial support, documentation and information management, etc ... a whole series of actions to improve the assistance offered to migrants.
These formations also includes specifics on rights and duties: migration law migration, processing of the residence card for foreigners, legal aid, employment legislation, working conditions,... This content will be publicized to the general population and migrants, as the people must know their rights in order to demand and exericse them.
Alliance for Solidarity´s work aims to promote the human rights of the population: by providing information and enabling the population to improve their access to employment (training, access to credit for self-employment). Not only do we work with migrants, but also the indigenous population, to facilitate integration and avoid increasing inequality.
Current partners in Mauritania: Catholic Mission of Nouadhibou, Project Management Training-DPEF Education, Regional Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, Children and Women MASEF, Federation of Associations of Parents-FENAPE, Associations of Parents-APE, Union of Cooperatives female-UCOFEM, mayors of Nouadhibou, Nouakchott and Kaedi.
Much of the work in Mauritania has cofinancing the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and other international organizations and agencies.
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