Project Code: STATE-MRT-4
|Project Title||Promote English language and American culture through virtual programs in Mauritania|
|Project Summary||The American Embassy to Mauritania's Public Affairs Section is looking for a committed intern with a genuine interest to support young Mauritanians eager to improve their English language skills and their understanding of the American Culture.|
|Agency||Department of State|
|Number of Interns||1|
The intern will have two main tasks:
1) Prepare material and facilitate sessions for intermediate to advanced ESL students in a variety of topics. Some possible examples include: job seeking skills, aspects of American culture, American holidays, aspects of U.S. history, research games, developing sketches, health information, etc.
2) Assist with monitoring and managing the U.S. Embassy English Club WhatsApp groups by posting and sharing with students any useful materials related to English Language learning and understanding the American culture.
3) (optional) If possible, the Intern will develop 3-4 short Facebook campaigns on issues similar to the ones in task #1, e.g.; Islam in America; daily life of a student at U.S. university; and job hunting skills. The campaigns could be video-based and/or static. Each campaign should be in English only.
American Corner Session Facilitation Assistance
The American Corner ISERI (High Institute for Research and Islamic Studies) is a U.S. Embassy-equipped space in Nouakchott Islamic research center that serves as a resource center for information and programs highlighting American culture, history, current events, and government.
American Corner ISERI, like most U.S. American Spaces around the world, typically host discussion groups, seminars, digital video conferencing (DVCs), poster exhibits, and meetings with U.S. and local specialists on a wide range of American-focused topics for a young audience aged 18 to 35.
Partnership between the American Embassy and ISERI started in 2004. More than 30 students and several community members visit the corner every day (Monday to Thursday) to use resources (computers, books) or attend a session. A Mauritanian American Spaces Manager working at the U.S. Embassy is responsible for overseeing activities at the ISERI American Corner. That same American Spaces Manager will be the Intern’s principle point of contact in Mauritania throughout the internship.
The intern will be expected to facilitate four 90-minute sessions a month (live or recorded via Zoom or Skype) or prepare the session materials and share them with the American Spaces Manager who will facilitate them in-person. The Intern will prepare a one- to two- page monthly report of his/her activities. The Intern and the American Spaces Manager will communicate via mail, Skype or phone on a regular basis to update each other.
Helping manage WhatsApp Groups:
In order to keep in touch with our audience, the U.S. Embassy to Mauritania’s American Spaces Manager created five different WhatsApp groups which share either level or interests, or both. There are 200 to 256 people in each WhatsApp group. In addition to serving as a communication tool, the groups are also used as open platforms for the sharing of English learning material (videos, riddles, short texts, Ted Talks, links to useful articles, etc.). The groups are extremely useful but need constant monitoring in terms of content. The American Spaces Manager is responsible for their overall management and ensuring the posts are consistent with the Embassy’s goals. He regularly adds new people on request and delete some for not complying with our rules (for example, all posts should be in English language, non-political and non-derogatory against any person or group of people). The Intern will be expected to help monitor the groups whenever possible, at his or her convenience, and post information they find useful for the participants.
Optional task: Facebook campaigns
U.S. Embassy Nouakchott social media campaigns have been very limited due to staff time and capacity. We would like to inject more American elements into our Facebook page, but on themes with which our Mauritanian readership can identify. A campaign by the intern on Islam in America, for example, would be popular. Other themes we are seeking to incorporate and promote in our Facebook feed include: job hunting skills; how to obtain a scholarship in with an American University; how to identify American universities with low tuition fees; security (everything from countering violent extremism, to women’s self defense); Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills for youth; freedom of expression (especially in the arts) and association; youth entrepreneurship; social cohesion and decreasing discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, language, religion or tribe, among others; and English language learning.