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Community Work and Service Projects
with Discover Ltd. & Education for All Morocco

Education for All Morocco Ltd.

Education for All Morocco Limited (EfAM) is a charity established in 2006 by Discover Ltd. and other friends in Marrakesh. EfAM was set up to build boarding houses near to secondary schools in Morocco, providing accommodation and care to girls from remote mountain communities in the High Atlas mountains, enabling them to further their education through the Moroccan state system. Primary education in Morocco is compulsory and readily available to both boys and girls between 7 and 14 years old. However, it is unusual for girls in the High Atlas mountains to continue their education beyond primary level. This is because the nearest secondary school may be over 20km away, and impractical to travel to each day. Many families do not have the financial resources to support their daughters through secondary education. Those that do may lack a family network near to a secondary school to whom they can entrust their daughter. Girls from these communities deserve the opportunity to continue their education.

“We believe that if you educate a girl, you begin to educate the next generation.”

Education for All and Discover Ltd. organise community work and service projects through which you and your students can make an essential contribution to our ongoing work in Morocco. We have already built 3 boarding houses, which between them accommodate over 100 girls. Through fund raising and practical community work or service projects, you can help make a difference in a practical and visible way to these remote communities. Our projects are challenging, rewarding, great fun and bring you into contact with the hospitable and welcoming Berbers of the High Atlas mountains.

Your itinerary and accommodation will depend to an extent on what time of year you come to Morocco with us. If you travel during the school holiday period and stay in one of the girls boarding houses, activities will revolve around work in the local community and surrounding area. If the girls are in school, there will be greater opportunities for interaction between your students and the girls.

For those staying in the girls’ boarding houses, Education for All Morocco will also benefit from what you pay towards your accommodation.

Itinerary:

Community Work itinerary (PDF)

Day1

Upon arrival at Marrakesh Menara Airport, your group will be met by your local guide and you will be transferred to your accommodation for the next 5 nights. This will be in one of the Education for All boarding houses or in a house nearby, depending upon whether the girls are in school during your stay or not. The boarding houses provide simple but comfortable accommodation, with small single-sex dormitories, hot showers and excellent food cooked and served by our Moroccan staff. Depending on the time of your arrival, you may like to take an orientation walk around the village to better understand the setting of our project.

Day2–5

After breakfast, your group will discuss the range of projects which have been planned for the week. It is often not possible far in advance before your trip to know exactly what work you will be doing, but the work is always useful to the community and depending upon the time of year and whether the girls are in school may include:

  • Assisting the girls in the boarding house with their school work. You may like to prepare educational materials and short lessons in advance
  • Introducing a new craft or game to the girls in the evening
  • Helping with the girls’ reading—they learn both French and English at school and love the opportunity to practise! Helping the girls develop a skill. Introduce them to something new, such as basic first aid, a dance or help develop their computer skills
  • Sharing some time with the girls in the kitchen—they all love to cook and love to entertain guests and to learn new recipes from them. You may consider bringing recipes from home to prepare a meal when you are at the boarding house, or foods which travel well from your home country for the girls to try!
  • Organising games, sports, crafts and play with the local children in the village. Gifts of stationery and balls are always appreciated and will be put to good use!
  • Building and maintaining footpaths and irrigation channels
  • Assisting with the fruit harvest (picking and boxing apples and walnuts, the staple market crops for the area)
  • Clearing, sorting and recycling litter
  • Clearing flood debris and rubbish from the river
  • Assisting local women with their chores, from washing clothes in the river to moving livestock to the fields

Tools will be provided where required, and you are advised to ensure that your students bring protective gloves and strong footwear.

You choose to spend a couple of hours one day visiting the local souk (market). It is much more fun doing this with your new friends; they know the fair prices, the best market sellers for meat and vegetables, and the best places to buy souvenirs, and add a new dimension to your experience.

You may also like to spend one or more of your days trekking. It is possible to access many kilometres of trekking routes from the boarding houses, and this could add a more physical challenge to your tour.

Day6

After breakfast, your transport will return you to Marrakesh, and you will check-in to your accommodation, the Hotel Foucauld in the ancient medina of Marrakesh. You will spend the day exploring this exciting city, and visit the Djemaa el-Fna, the infamous ‘Place of the Dead’, in the heart of the ancient city of Marrakesh. Your Discover guide will accompany you and a local Marrakchi guide on a horse-drawn calèche tour around the city walls.

You will spend the day exploring this enchanting city, perhaps bartering for goods in the souks, experience a local Berber apothecary and enjoy this enchanting city where youthful, dynamic and aspiring Moroccans live alongside more traditional Islamic culture. In the evening, you may choose to return to the Square and spend time watching the local entertainers, where snake charmers and acrobats, fortune tellers and dancers vie for your attention, and visit the spectacular food stalls which make the atmosphere unforgettable… Dinner is taken in the hotel restaurant, eating, chatting and reflecting on a fabulous week.

Day7

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may have time today to visit the Jardins Marjorelle, or one of Marrakesh’s fabulous monuments such as the Bahia Palace. Chat with locals and perfect your haggling technique in Marrakesh’s famous souk, or perhaps enjoy a hammam (traditional Moroccan steam bath), or even just relax and reflect on your time in this vibrant country, before your return to Marrakesh Menara Airport for the return flight.

Fundraising for EfAM

Fundraising is a key aspect of this trip. It costs approximately 1000 € to provide accommodation for a girl in the EfAM project for one year. We therefore suggest a minimum donation of £200 per student to the project, which will all be used to provide food, clothing, books and care for the girls.

In addition, you may also like to fundraise or collect materials for a specific project, and spend your time in the area putting your efforts to good use. Past projects have included the construction of the village waste incinerators (with the Association Bassins d’Imlil), and a water tower, ensuring a safe drinking water supply for the village.

Talk to us about what you would like to achieve during your time in Morocco. We have the local contacts and expertise to make sure that your trip contributes to local communities in meaningful and lasting ways. We encourage all schools to participate at a deeper level in their community work and service projects, and encourage and support your group in maintaining contact with EfAM long after your community work project has been completed.

Community Work itinerary (PDF)

Berber Rising, Morocco’s mountain people look to partnerships and progress as well as tourist dollars, an article by Daniel Allen, Esquire Middle East
Read Berber Rising article