Education and Learning
Programs for Institutions
We offer custom educational programs to schools, colleges, and universities from around the world. Most recently, we hosted students from The Middlebury College School in Morocco (see: http://www.middlebury.edu/study-abroad/morocco).
We offer custom cultural education programs for institutions, including Traditional Moroccan Dance, Moroccan Cooking, Weaving, Handcrafts, Art, and Music. We are also currently developing a curriculum for educational programs in Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development, and Leadership.
Through our educational services, you can provide students in your program with a unique and authentic experience unlike any other in Morocco.
Coming soon to our center: Tamazight (Berber) and Moroccan Colloquial Arabic programs.
Bou Naceur Outdoor Leadership Center
We plan to build the Bou Naceur Outdoor Leadership Center, which will offer free training for rural youth in outdoor leadership, first aid, and foreign languages. This will enable our students to work in Morocco’s growing mountain tourism industry while remaining in their communities. Our center will also support sustainable development by providing employment opportunities and health services.
Mountain tourism is a lifeline for these communities, while also incentivizing preservation of the region’s unique environment and cultural heritage. However, few people have the necessary skills or equipment to work as mountain guides. Through our program, we will give young people in rural mountain communities a unique set of skills which will prepare them for success in today’s economy. Once completed, our center will also directly employ members of our community and provide other health and education related services.
Our first objective is to build a space for our initial center, which can meet the needs of our students and the community. Given our remote location high in the Atlas Mountains, it is not cost effective to build an entirely concrete or stone structure. Canvas tents, when insulated with traditional wool rugs, remain cool during the day and warm at night, and are cost-effective and highly durable, lasting up to 25 years. We plan to erect three structures: a large structure able to hold 20 students, a 4-bed caretaker-house and kitchen, and a concrete restroom with two toilets.
Our second objective is to prepare rural youth for employment in the new rural Moroccan economy, which is largely based on mountain tourism. Our services will be free, and we hope to select 10 participants for our first program in the summer of 2020. Students in our programs will receive education in wilderness first aid, CPR, low-impact camping techniques, mountain climbing, and skiing.
Our third objective is to provide foreign language courses for our students so they can work with clients from around the world. We hope to offer courses in English, Spanish, Modern Standard Arabic, and French. In addition, we will provide Arabic and Tamazight courses for visiting foreigners as part of our sustainability plan (see below).
Our fourth objective is to provide employment for rural Moroccans. We hope to employ 8 people directly at the center and are committed to supporting gender equality in our community through employing local women. In addition, we will have artisanal products (rugs, baskets, essential oils) available for sale at fair-trade prices both at the center, at our nearby guesthouse and via our website. All mountain guiding in the area will be conducted through our organization via our association of trained guides, ensuring they are paid a fair wage and that they are equipped with appropriate clothing and safety gear.
Our fifth objective is to preserve the fragile local environment by helping local residents practice sustainable forestry and land use. With future funding, we hope to support a reforestation plan for the area using indigenous African Cyprus trees, which are highly endangered. Our facility will be entirely solar powered, and we are committed to using no plastic in our facility. We will also provide trash collection and recycling for surrounding residents.
Our sixth objective is to use our center to provide other basic health services to our community on a regular basis. The closest hospitals take a full day to reach, and many rural residents forego any kind of treatment for health problems. Health services will be provided several times a month by visiting domestic and international healthcare professionals on a volunteer basis.