Since the foundation of Association Assafou, the British Moroccan Society has been in close collaboration. This short article gives you an idea about the Association and its work.
Start date: Association Assafou was formed in May 2011 by Ahmed NAIT (Managing Director, Travel Link) and Abdelkarim OUACHIKH
Objective: To build centres to provide pre-school education, fight illiteracy among rural women and encourage rural world preservation
President: Abdelkarim OUACHIKH
Coordinator: Sadia ABOUOBAYD, Attachée de Direction, Travel Link
Currently there are 7 centres:
Talataste Learning Centre in Zat Valley
Talataste is a village south of Marrakech located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains with a population of around 300. Th drive there from Marrakech takes approx 1 1/2 hours. The inhabitants are Berber people living off farming, raising livestock, making pottery and rugs and selling them in local markets.
Through a fruitful collaboration between Travel Link and British Moroccan Society, the educational centre was set up in 2010. There are currently 26 pupils (16 girls, 10 boys) all aged 4 to 6 taught by 1 teacher in the morning. Another teacher runs extra-curricular activities (computers, reading, theatre in the afternoon for up to 100 children in groups of 20 to 30. There is also a Literacy programme for 30 women aged 17 to 50.
Agounsane Centre in Ourika Valley
Agounsane is a village with a population of 700, south of Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, about 45 minutes drive from Marrakech. The inhabitants are Berbers doing similar work as in Talataste.
Travel Link and Saga Holidays set up a charitable centre in 2012 which accommodates both a kindergarten and a library equipped with computers.
A new room has just been constructed and opened in 2015 for girls who have missed out on school and for women to have classes in such things as literacy, embroidery and weaving. There are currently 24 pupils (8 boys, 16 girls) aged 4 to 6 all taught by 1 teacher. There are also 25 secondary school pupils who use the library for their homework and 32 women (aged 17 to 50) who benefit from the multifunctional centre.
The children in both villages after the age of 6 go to the government primary schools which are 1/2 to 1 km from their homes. Secondary schools are 2 to 3 kms away. Subjects in these schools are taught in Arabic, hence the critical need for pre-education in the villages.