By Serena Tramontano, EUAV in Mauritania
Mauritania is a country I knew superficially.
However, when I saw the opportunity to be an EU AID Volunteer in this country I didn’t hesitate to come forward. Besides the job opportunity, the immense beauty of the desert and the desire to deepen my knowledge of the Islamic religion attracted me.
Once I arrived at the office of Medicos del Mundo, a beautiful house and friendly, smiling colleagues welcomed me and Patrica, the other volunteer who had started this adventure with me and who would later become a valuable support and a great friend to me.
The next day we started with the work projects: there were so many things to do and so many possibilities to learn!
I took care of a communication campaign on gender violence that has been in the field for two years and my task was to spread information on social networks, communicate all the work already done in the past and especially to organise activities for the 16 days of activism against gender violence, but in the context of a global pandemic.
With the collaboration of the team and all the local partners we were able to create new information content on gender-based violence, in particular on female genital mutilation, early marriages, domestic violence and sex education.
Many times it is not traditions that prevent these atrocities from happening but only misinformation. I realise more and more how much people want change and how important it is, especially for younger generations, that adequate information is made available on issues considered taboo in order to accomplish it.
The social pages of the campaign came to life and videos, workshops and various gadgets to raise awareness even in the most remote areas of the country, were prepared!
Even though my mission was short, I was able to deeply appreciate this land that has only arid territory. The incredible kindness of the people, the charm of a religion that preaches hospitality and honesty, the beautiful colours of the boats in the port and the fabrics of the market, new flavours and smells, the green of the ocean that meets the gold of the Mauritanian dunes, will always remain in my heart.
“Right information and education can save lives”