A man leading two camels up a desert hill.

Addressing Drivers of Violent Extremism .

Peace, Stability, and Transition | Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism

The Sadaqa project

Project Dates: September 2016 - February 2019
The Sadaqa project, meaning friendship, supports the Mauritanian Ministry of Islamic Affairs’ efforts to thwart extremist recruitment.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Sadaqa project worked in partnership with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs (MoIA) to promote peace and tolerance in Mauritania by strengthening and spreading key capacities required for countering violent extremism. This pilot activity partnered with MoIA to develop a strategy and approaches for propagating MOIA’s earlier successful efforts to counter violent extremism and support communities whose youth are at the highest risk of being recruited by violent extremists. The project provided MoIA with skills in facilitating public forums, conflict mediation, engaging youth, identifying violent extremism risk factors, and media and communications. The project then supported MoIA in leading activities with various groups, applying these skills to counter violent extremism. Through this activity, MoIA expanded its geographic reach and improved its ability to work effectively with local religious leaders and community leaders to promote peace and tolerance, thereby overcoming competing messages in favor of violence and extremism.

Project Goals

  • Build the institutional capacity of MoIA to further develop their own messaging in favor of peace and tolerance, facilitate public forums, mediate conflict, conduct media and communications efforts, and identify individuals at risk
  • Support the creation of authentic, locally resonant messages that support traditions favoring peace and tolerance, thereby countering violent extremism messages
  • Help religious and community leaders to speak out against and prevent violent extremism recruitment and messaging in their communities as anathema to their traditions
  • Share countering violent extremism best practices with G5 Sahel member countries
  • Create closer linkages between MoIA and other Mauritanian ministries working to counter violent extremism