One of our members, Helen Tait Wright, has recently visited Talataste, after raising a substantial sum to fund the renovation of the classrooms and upgrade of the centre’s IT equipment. Talataste is a learning pre-school centre run by¬†Association Assafou that was set up with BMS support in 2010.

BMS Administrator, Ella, spoke with Helen about her latest visit.

Children in the centre’s classroom

I discovered Talataste after the 2019 Rallye des Gazelles, while chatting to fellow Gazelle and BMS Trustee Benedicte Clarkson.

I have friends in Morocco with a young daughter and being part of her educational journey really brought home to me how important it is to fuel the thirst for knowledge at a young age and offer children the means to expand their horizons.

When I decided to participate again in the rally, I decided to make Talataste our team humanitarian cause, and I first visited the school in October 2019.

Helen in the classroom

Sue and I have held several fundraising events during the rally build up and we have had the good fortune to also attract additional funding from our principal rally partners, Giti Tire and their Moroccan distributors Pneurama.

Our primary objective was to give the school a makeover and provide essential supplies for all the children attending. In addition, our partners were keen to improve the IT equipment at the school, a cause which fell perfectly in line with the program envisaged by Association Assafou.

Students outside the centre

During our visit on 5th October, we were able to distribute the supplies to the children, in their colourful new classroom, which was utterly wonderful. The IT equipment will be following shortly.

Sue in the Talataste classroom

Association Assafou also asked if we would participate in an action to revolutionise the lives of the Talataste potters. Currently the kilns in the village are wood fired, and this is causing major deforestation around the village. In addition, the imprecise nature of the wood fired kilns produces pottery that is not high quality and causes many breakages.

We met the potters along with Abdelkrim and attended a demonstration of the proposed gas fired kiln. This action will take a little longer to realise as all the potters must be in agreement with the project and the changes.

The gas kiln

We also heard about a proposal to buy land in Talataste to construct a new school and cooperative artisanal space in place of the current rented building, which would serve its purpose better.

Talataste village

It was a joy to be back in Talataste and to see the children as well as Halima and Khalid, and we wish them all a very successful school year.