MindLeaps Dance Classes Reopen in Nouakchott, Mauritania
By Eleanor Milburn - Assistant Director
In our last update, we reported that Mauritania has reached an exciting milestone: with low infection rates, the government has reopened schools and MindLeaps dance classes have resumed. Working with our local partner, SOS Pairs Educateurs, MindLeaps dance classes restarted in Nouakchott and are now reaching 90 vulnerable kids - 65 girls and 25 boys.
These classes are taught by seven local youth who have been through MindLeaps training program to become dance teachers. In addition to teaching dance classes, these youth are developing their skills as community leaders through MindLeaps Virtual Academy. Both the dance classes and Virtual Academy are funded by the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania with the goals of reducing poverty, promoting an inclusive society, and increasing cultural exchange between the U.S. and Mauritania.
There are a total of 20 youth from the community ages 16 – 26 who are part of the Virtual Academy. They have all expressed an interest in advancing their lives and communities but lacked access to existing support networks, financial resources, or stable livelihoods. These youth are also representative of all ethnic groups in Mauritania. Throughout the last few months, MindLeaps has observed that an active and supportive community is being built between these 20 youth. The participants have now completed the Virtual Academy’s modules on Digital Literacy, Business Entrepreneurship, Project Management and Budgeting, and Child Development. They will soon begin the module on Communications. Finally, the youth will be joining cultural exchanges with American students; the first of these virtual exchanges will take place later this week.
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