Every Monday, Lesley, an expatriate volunteer, visits the Community Development Centers’ kindergartens. She uses her expertise in education to train the teachers in student-oriented teaching methods. It’s a difficult task in a context where teachers prefer rote memorization over engagement.
Lesley works hard to establish rapport and productive working relationships with the teachers. Recently she started working with a new teacher. “She doesn’t have any experience,” Lesley says, “but she has the desire to learn. This week I’ll start training her on the job. She seems eager to learn!”
Doulos’ volunteers know that community transformation must begin by empowering and equipping people with the tools, skills, and education that will permit them to build healthier communities. Lesley and her colleagues demonstrate a tireless commitment to work alongside locals. Through their personal engagement within the communities in which they live and work, they have gained a deep understanding of the issues faced by the poor of Nouakchott, thus positioning them to help people identify and implement strategies for lasting community transformation.
Lesley testifies that several of the kindergartens are becoming increasingly self-sufficient and community supported. Community members are now responsible for paying the teachers and providing basic classroom materials. Lesley, as well as the rest of us at Doulos, is encouraged to see that parents recognize the importance of education, demonstrated by their active involvement and financial contributions to classroom needs.