Youth and Hope, l’Espoir pour la Jeunesse, was created in 2011 in Columbus, Ohio, by a small group of individuals passionate about education and making a difference in the lives of Mauritanian children. Youth and Hope focuses on assisting Mauritanian children that were repatriated in 2010 after deportation to Senegal due to border conflict.
These students and their parents, though brought back to their native Mauritania by the government, still live in precarious conditions and face hardship, especially in access to education. At Youth and Hope, we seek to empower students through education, by providing them with school supplies. While a set of school supplies may seem like a small gesture, the reality is that it can make the difference between success and failure for Mauritanian school children.
In 2018, after Y&H board member Chris Hemmig travelled to Goural, one of our target villages, we realized just how challenging it is for students in our program to commute to high school in neighboring towns. In some instances, students must pay 500 Old Ouguiyas, or about $1.30, in one-way taxi fare to get to schools which too far to walk. That cost is out of reach for many families and thus prohibits students from attending secondary school.
We came to a crossroads: what good are school supplies if the student cannot get to school to use them?
Going the Extra Mile for Education
In order to take our support a step further and respond to this challenge, we piloted a stipend program to assist our students with the cost of commuting to high school.
In December 2018, we established a partnership with the Sahel Foundation to launch our first ever stipend program in Goural and we are happy to announce that it was a great success!
Thanks to our loyal sponsors, and oversight from Sahel Foundaton director Brahim Ramadhan, we assisted 10 students in 5eme, or 11th grade, during this first year. Because of the stipend program, none of our 10 students were forced to drop out. And 8 out of 10 passed the grade and will go on to terminal, or 12th grade!
In the next year, we are planning to expand the stipend program to more students and start another stipend program in the village of Diolly. We hope that we can count on your continued support as we continue to on this exciting journey!
Celebrating a Successful Year
In addition to the stipend program, we had an overall great year at Y&H. We were able to assist 145 students with school supplies in our 4 villages (Diolly, Goural, Bellel Ourguel and Gawdal), a Y&H record for one year! We could not have done it without your dedication.
From the bottom of our hearts, we say THANK YOU for being a Youth and Hope Champion. You are making educational goals POSSIBLE for Mauritanian children. Though far by distance, these students are near in our thoughts, and together we are making their world brighter.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Executive Director, Y&H