Posted on December 13, 2015

The latest project by the Qatari-Mauritanian Social Development Foundation, an organisation managed by Education Above All Foundation (EAA), has opened this week - the Al Ekhwa school complex. A delegation from EAA, including CEO Marcio Barbosa and Deputy CEO Fahad Al Sulaiti, travelled to Mauritania for the opening of new educational facility.

The modern, new school complex has been constructed by the Qatari-Mauritanian Social Development Foundation, an organisation created in December 2004 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and Office of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to alleviate poverty and mitigate its negative impacts in Mauritania. The Qatari-Mauritanian Social Development Foundation has spearheaded a number of projects to help address poverty in Mauritania, impacting thousands of people and significantly improving the literacy rate of women.

Representatives from EAA took part in the inauguration ceremony of the Al Ekhwa school complex and signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which the Ministry of National Education will manage the complex. The school complex, which is located in Boutilimit, consists of a nine-classroom elementary school and a 36-classroom elementary and high school featuring a laboratory, a library and an IT station. Children who were previously out of school and missing out on an education, will also be enrolled in the new school.

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Commenting on the opening of the school, Marcio Barbosa, CEO of EAA, said:‘It is a great pleasure to be here for the opening of Al Ekhwa school complex. The project aims to have a lasting positive impact on the community and make a significant change to the lives of children.The many initiatives undertaken by the Qatari-Mauritanian Social Development Foundation are determined to take a holistic approach to making a difference to Mauritanian communities, by addressing health, wellbeing and creating opportunities in the workforce.’

H.E Abdul Rahman bin Ali Al Ajaj Al Kubaisi, Qatari Ambassador to Mauritania, commented on the excellent relationship between the Mauritanian and Qatari people and leaders. He highlighted the importance of this school project, which coincides with Mauritania’s dedicating 2015 as the ‘year of education’. The ambassador also praised the foundation for its achievements, which have benefited many poor people in Mauritania’s countryside and cities.

Highlighting this key achievement, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, said: ‘We are thankful for EAA’s continued support and thrilled to be opening this state-of-the art school complex. Having a quality primary and secondary education will open up so many opportunities for the children of Boutilimit.’

Boutilimit’s Mayor and the Head of its elected association expressed their gratitude to EAA for building this significant complex, which will play a key role in enhancing in Boutilimit. He praised the Hamad bin Khalifa Hospital for providing generous services for Boutilimit residents and neighbouring areas. The hospital, opened in February 2007, provides healthcare services to the population of the Boutilimit district and nearby areas. This important facility offers medical treatment free of charge to victims of traffic accidents and dispatches medical convoys to serve hard-to-reach populations in several neighbouring villages.

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Five vocational training centres are operated by the Qatari-Mauritanian Social Development Foundation, which located in Nouakchott, Sélibaby, Néma and El Aioun. These providea two-year certified professional training for 468 students in a variety of subjects including: IT equipment maintenance, secretarial practice, cookery and hospitality, farming, veterinary science, trading and accounting.Since their establishment, these centres have created vocational opportunities for 1,458 people.

The foundation’s literacy programme has almost 6,000 learners, 93 percent of whom are women. Many of these graduates are also running small enterprises using grants from the Foundation. These students receive additional functional literacy training through the foundation’s vocational training centres in order to help them better manage their businesses. To date, the functional literacy programme has assisted 5,487 people. 141 income-generating projects in a number of different areas, including agriculture, sewing, and milling, have been funded by the Foundation, improving the lives of communities in a sustainable way.