May 19, 2017
Cycling all the way to Oukaïmeden and back. With a shocking altitude gain of 2129 meters. ‘We don’t know whether we will make it, but the least we can do is try’, say Zahira, Zineb and Hafsa.
They participated in the Marrakech Atlas Etape, the cycling event that raises money for the ngo Education for All (EFA). EFA runs boarding houses for disadvantaged girls from isolated villages, the same boarding houses that made it possible for Zahira, Zineb and Hafsa to get their high school diplomas.
The other girls at Riad Moustaqbel, who didn’t see themselves fit to participate, volunteered to run the feed stations with drinks and snacks for all the participating cyclists. Zahra spent the whole day up in Oukaïmeden, running the last feeding station together with a British couple. Doing good and practicing her English at the same time – a winning combination.
Six young girls from the boarding houses in Asni were also taking part in the event. They arrived in Marrakech the day before to sign up and collect their bikes. The day culminated in a joint dinner and sleepover at Riad Moustaqbel. Excitement reigned. Luckily the girls got enough sleep, because it all had to happen the day after.
Zineb, Zahira, Hafsa and the six girls from Asni did a wonderful job. Some made it to Ourika, 30 km from Marrakech, others made it way up onto the steeply rising meandering mountain road, around 52 km from Marrakech.
We thank all the participants and volunteers who have made this day possible. Education for All is like a sister to us, and we are delighted to see her flourish.