“Un! Deux! Trois! “ The children count as they jump rope. Abou shouts, “Wahed!” and the children continue, “Wahed! Ethneyn! Thlatha!” Abou is teaching the children to count in various languages as they play. Then he lines them up. One of the students stands up in front touching his head. The children shout, “Head!” The child continues through the body parts. “Shoulders! Stomach! Legs! Knees! Feet!”
Abou Ibrahima Demba has volunteered with ADRA-Mauritania since 2015. He had a small children’s center then, with video games for the children, homework help and small food items for purchase. He approached ADRA to partner with him to continue to help the community. Since that meeting, he has participated in several ADRA trainings as well as trainings conducted by other entities. He leads out in the children’s program.
Without Abou, ADRA would be unable to implement the Children’s Afterschoool Activities for unschooled and underschooled children. He leads out in the program, speaking the local languages and teaching the participants using the active approach that ADRA trained him in. The children learn to count in English, Spanish, French and Arabic while playing. They are learning the greetings and parts of the body. The activity closes with a story featuring a lesson or morals, translated by Abou into two local languages. He encourages them to take an interest in their community, urging them to sweep the area where the activities take place with him. ADRA has seen how he loves the children and how they respond to his love.
Early in life he wanted to go to Europe to look for better opportunities. After participating in various trainings from international non-governmental organizations, he decided to stay in his country and focus on helping others, specifically children, to create better opportunities within the country. Today, he is learning English and continues to volunteer for ADRA-Mauritania not only in the Children’s Program but also as a Health Agent in the neighborhood clinic.
Story by Dr. Bonnie Head, Programs Director- ADRA Mauritania