Why this is important
1. It’s a cultural heritage project
Nowhere in the Islamic world is the memorization of the Quran and sacred texts as prolific as in Mauritania. The mahdhara system has been running in Mauritania for hundreds of years: students study a subject text with a teacher; the text is explained and memorized; the text is usually studied in the form of poetry, transmitted orally and delivered individually or in small groups. Centuries-old Arabic poetry is being transmitted from generation to generation, ultimately preserving an important religious and cultural legacy that is slowing being eroded by modern teaching philosophies and methods. Preserving this legacy starts with educating women, society’s first teachers.
2. An educational project for women and girls
Women in Mauritania have always had opportunities to study, especially from their fathers and family members, and have been known to excel in the field of Seerah. However, changing socio-economic conditions created a need for the establishment of learning centres for women. This institute remains unique as it is one of a few institutes in the country devoted especially to women’s Islamic education.
Madrassah Al-Umm wa al-Tifl has been located at the same venue for years. There’s no running water, no toilets, no electricity and the space is too small to accommodate the amount of students for bigger lectures.
3. A preschool for children
With the additional space proposed by the project, they can open a much-needed preschool for kids. Currently, the few preschools in the village are being run informally in dilapidated buildings with no facilities for kids.
4. Skills development
By sponsoring this institution, we provide a space for skills development training.