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Saadiq Garba

Saadiq Garba '19

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

High School: Saint Albans School

Intended Major: Biology/PEAC

5 Words: Patient, Driven, Empathetic, Caring, Idealist

What impact do you want to have on the world?

I hope to be of service to others and at least impact at least one person's life for the better if not a group of people. 

What was the most transformative class you have taken and/or what subjects do you want to explore deeply?

I want to explore the field of biology and look more deeply into peace and conflict and international relations to help me prepare for tackling worldwide issues. 

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

This summer (2016) I went on a trip back home to Nigeria. I enjoyed my time and saw a lot of family members I had not seen in a while. During my trip I got to meet and converse with children called Almajirai. Almajirai are all exclusively male children between the ages of seven and sixteen who are sent away from their families and their rural villages to cities. The main reason they are sent away is because of economic hardship. Their parents cannot provide or care for them. They are sent to madrasas in cities where they only learn the Qur'an. They are however not cared for in those schools where they only learn and sleep. To survive, they either go to people's doorways everyday and beg for food or they rent themselves out to people, families, or businesses performing chores and other work. From that they are barely able to sustain themselves. They also do not get access to clean clothing, bathing areas, bathrooms or other basic human needs. This creates a barrier between them and higher ranks of the social hierarchy. Being a phenomenon that occurs in the North of the country, which is majority muslim, cleanliness is valued. If one is not clean, they are shunned by society. 
Job prospects after their time at the madrasas are very limited. If they are lucky enough, they can apply their Qur'anic education to become teachers or tutors. Unfortunately when some can not get jobs, they end up joining extremists groups as a way of rebelling against the society that has treated them wrongly for so many years. There are currently no organizations, at least in the area that I visited, that tackle the problems Almajirai face but I am hoping to change that. I hope to collaborate with the Lang Center to tackle the issue of joblessness in this population, and tackle the issue of societal marginalization.