In 2011, Houleye Thiam founded Youth and Hope in response to the critical resource deficiencies in rural Mauritanian schools.
Since our founding, we have focused on villages whose primary populations are black Mauritanian, and former refugees returned to their homelands in southern Mauritania.*
As of 2018, we serve primary schools in four rural repatriated villages.
*A border war between Senegal and Mauritania in 1989-1991 forced thousands of black Mauritanians into exile in Senegal and Mali. In 2007, then-President of Mauritania Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdullah asked the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to aid in the repatriation of black Mauritanians living in camps across the border. Click here to learn more about the border war and refugee repatriation.
While the cost of attending primary school in Mauritania is low, many families do not have enough income to provide their children with the basic supplies needed to participate in the classroom. This compounds the educational challenges that students and families face, and the result is large numbers of students out of school.
Today, our goal is eliminate the basic resource need for primary school students in our target villages.
As we grow, our focus will expand to secondary education, improvement of classrooms, and providing leadership development opportunities for Mauritanian youth.
Interested in helping us take Y&H to the next level?