Many families in developing countries, particularly here in Mauritania, tend to enthusiastically and blindly embrace modern material culture. The physical and technological aspects of our daily lives, like food, housing, and phones, are eagerly adopted with little attention given to the attached cultural values imported with them. This beckons our attention as we witness social problems arising from conflicting, neglected, and/or unappreciated ideas, beliefs, and values.
From among these social maladies is our unmodified childrearing practices. Not too long ago, Mauritanians lived in rural areas where children spent all of their time receiving consistent, safe and loving attention from caretakers. They were raised by a village that not only preserved traditions but also re-enforced cherished beliefs and values. This is no longer the case for most of us today in urban societies.
Today, our children spend their mornings in academic institutions, afternoons in the streets, and free time attached to their devices. For most, there aren’t places for youth to go, constructive activities for them to do, nor a caretaker to care. This is especially the case for economically disadvantaged students. Idle time for children is known to foster all sorts of social and developmental challenges.
Here, at the Darul Arqam, we endeavor to fill this void and offer an after-school program that complements academic studies and provides inspiring experiences that motivate at-risk youth to succeed academically, professionally, and personally. The following are a few unmet needs that we will address: