A new world

May 25, 2017

‘My dream is to do a phd in physics, but that takes eight years and I cannot wait that long before I start earning money’, says the girl, trying to keep her emotions in check. Her body and mind seem to want to cry, but instead she trembles. ‘I have to help my family.’

This is just one example of a girl that is destined to get her high school diploma this year, thanks to Education For All, the organisation that runs several boarding houses where disadvantaged girls from remote villages can follow secondary education.
Riad Moustaqbel recently visited one of the houses in Asni, to interview the eldest girls in order to select the ones who will be invited to come to Riad Moustaqbel and start their higher education in Marrakech. The three criteria used to select participants are: motivation, need and mentality.
Each girl has her own unique story, and many have experienced hardship in their lives. One of them tells us she felt as if she had entered a new world when she came to live in Asni. ‘I didn’t know anything. No alphabet, no numbers. I could not count nor read or write. And my father was against the idea of me going to school. It took a lot of time to convince him to let me go.’
The girl has made enormous progress. Now there are only a couple of weeks and some sweat and nerves between her and her high school diploma.
Riad Moustaqbel has been initiated so girls like her won’t go back home to wait for a suitable husband. Riad Moustaqbel aims to help these girls finish a form of higher education and get a nice job before they even think of marrying. The girl smiles and jokes: ‘That way I can find a better husband. One that listens to me.’