Behind a green door in the medina of Marrakech, fifty-five girls live together in a student residence, while pursuing further education at the institute of their choice.
Dar Moustaqbel is a social impact student housing project. Living here enables young disadvantaged girls to fully focus on their studies. Our study hall is occupied seven days and evenings a week. Hundreds of hours of in-house French and English classes every year.
Besides professional language education, we offer tutors for subjects as statistics and bookkeeping, a computer skills course, weekly yoga classes, cycling, and inspiring encounters with scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers and students. Due to the corona crisis, Dar Moustaqbel has noticed the enormous positive effects on exam results of offering students extra lessons in the branch of their choice. In future years we will be therefore extending these efforts.
Our house rules reflect the importance of rigor and good habits. The use of mobile phones, for example, is restricted. Students take turns cooking, cleaning and washing for all, creating responsibility and training practical skills while maximising the time each of them spends on their education.
Dar Moustaqbel Issil
Strategically located in between several university faculties, our Masterhouse is the logical sequel to Dar Moustaqbel in the old medina of Marrakech. Twenty-five advanced students following a master or doing an internship after having obtained their diploma, live here in relative autonomy. Some are in search of their first real job.
They sleep, eat, study and participate in in-house lessons and activities. The activities program for these students is adapted to their situation, with for example a course named “Finding a job is a job” and advanced language lessons with a focus on professional language use.
Goal of our Masterhouse Dar Moustaqbel Issil is to provide our students with the possibility to continue their educational career or search for a job or an internship after having obtained a diploma in further education. Why? Because many students risk returning to their home villages without the chance of finding a job, simply because they cannot afford staying in the city.
The selection process is very strict. Only students with a good plan and a track record that proves their commitment to their careers, in addition to a weak financial position, are selected. That may be a student with a BA that has all the capacities needed to obtain a master diploma, a former student that is preparing to pass a state exam to become a tenured high school teacher or successful former students who want to strengthen their starting position on the job market by doing a longterm internship.
Every highly educated rural girl inspires and educates their community and the next generation.
Moustaqbel strives to give disadvantaged girls form Moroccan rural areas an equal opportunity to pursue further education. By providing girls with a safe home, healthy food and a rich in-house additional educational program we assist young female students in empowering themselves for the competitive Moroccan labor market.
Moustaqbel offers a warm home to 80 female students. Beside following a advanced study we offer in-house professional support and many educational programs with languages, maths, soft skills and internships. With this sustainable investment, these young women get a real chance to compete on the moroccan labor market.
What has been accomplished
Growing while learning, Dar Moustaqbel has emerged as a special home with a solid culture of solidarity and curiosity. After having lived in a rented place for one year with ten girls (2016-2017), a group of 26 girls moved into Dar Moustaqbel in September 2017. A year later, in 2018-2019 we had 42 girls on board, and we reached our maximum capacity of 55 girls in September 2019.
Now, a carefully selected group of 55 students has built a home in Dar Moustaqbel. Our superintendent, restauration assistant, educational officers, and our house manager form a strong team, working together closely, with each member supporting the students in their own capacity. We offer quality education to disadvantaged students, creating opportunities to catch up and develop important skills, and visibly improve chances on the job market.
Recently an evaluation of the level of satisfaction and the (impression of) development of our students has been conducted by sociologist Béatrice Lecestre-Rollier from the University of Paris. “All students express an enormous satisfaction with their home each of them believes firmly that their skills have improved greatly thanks to Dar Moustaqbel.”
La Caravane de l'Orientation
In this new project by the beneficiaries of Dar Moustaqbel, our students visit schools and boarding houses in the rural south of Morocco to provide young people approaching the end of high school with the information they need to choose their educational path forward. Our students have travelled to a large number of villages and small provincial towns, varying from Tata to Taroudant and from Iznaguen to Essaouira, reaching thousands of youngsters.
La Caravane de l’Orientation is an important step forward for all parties involved. Many schools, NGO’s, teachers and parents applaud the initiative. It has given us a chance to touch the lives of many more youngsters than those that are living in our student homes. And it’s life-changing for our students, who develop new skills and contribute something meaningful to the society from which they spring. They contribute knowledge that they themselves would have liked to receive before starting further education. And they gift their hope for a brighter future to young people who are often discouraged – children still, whose surroundings often have little education and who generally have no idea what an appropriate choice of study might be. Each of them can now make more informed choices.
How it all started...
The Moustaqbel Foundation was founded by Hanneke Ouwehand-Van Hooff in 2016. Beforehand she had volunteered in three different EFAM (Education For All Morocco) boarding houses, for female high school pupils in the High Atlas mountains. There she saw the need from up close: “These girls would not be in school without these boarding houses”.
This experience inspired her to think about what these girls could accomplish if they were given the chance to pursue further education. With the opportunity to live in Dar Moustaqbel they can now fully focus on their studies and future professional lives.
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