Chances are you'll never get to undertake any volunteer work in Mauritania ~ even the Peace Corps who had been there for some forty years pulled out as security deteriorated with terrorist groups continuing to mount attacks on beach resorts, hotels, cafes and restaurants visited by foreigners. Mauritania itself only has a population of 4.526 million (2019) many of whom live nomadic desert lifestyles although recent famines and droughts have led many of the 70% of the population who live in the desert to go to urban areas such as Nouakchott in search of food, water and work placing pressure on already limited infrastructures such as housing and medical centres. The country is also affected by locust swarms which devastate what little food output there is. Volunteers who have worked in the country need to be Arabic, French, Hassynia, Pulaar, Soninke or Wolof speaking and historical projects, apart from the valiant work of the Red Cross who have mobilised food and water parcels during the recurring droughts and famines, have focussed on empowering girls and women in a state where modern day slavery and domestication of females is considered the norm. Mauritania is ranked in 157th place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. Volunteer work programs include building water projects, health care and developing sustainable farming techniques to maximise yield. Mauritania is also one of the Africa's newest oil producers so it will be interesting to see how the country develops over the coming years.
If you run or know of a volunteer work project in Mauritania let us know by contacting here. We look forward to hearing from you!
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