A GIRL WITH A DREAM, IS A WOMAN WITH A VISION
We have come a long way since we started in September 2016. Dar Moustaqbel has become a safe haven to 55 girls from isolated villages in rural Morocco. A place where disadvantaged girls can prosper while pursuing higher education. A rock for those that need it most.
Dar Moustaqbel, literally ‘The House of the Future’, provides girls with the building blocks they need for a successful integration into the workforce. Due to the problems state schools are facing, the girls often lack the basic knowledge they need for a successful entry in higher education. Dar Moustaqbel does its utmost to help the girls catch up. Education, discipline and personal development have been and will remain at the center of attention.
After a trial year spent with ten girls in an apartment while our riad was being renovated, we finally moved into our house in the medina of Marrakech with 26 girls in September 2017. During 2018-2019 we housed 42 students. And this year we accommodate 55 girls, our maximum capacity.
It is Dar Moustaqbel’s modest contribution to a country with a failed education system. This year a total of 288 hours of French lessons have been taught in-house, not to mention 96 hours of English. All in our study hall, which is busy six evenings a week.
Apart from language classes, the girls are provided with tutors teaching subjects like statistics and bookkeeping. Our activities program features a computer skills course, weekly yoga classes, cycling, encounters with ground-breaking scientists and inspiring mentors, and a program on entrepreneurship.
Our house rules reflect the importance of rigor and good habits. The use of mobile phones, for example, is restricted. We have found that this is the best basis for our students. We ask a lot from them because we believe in their capacities.
The female students live in Dar Moustaqbel under the supervision of three house sisters, who help, encourage and support the girls wherever they may need it. The three house sisters are responsible for the day-to-day support of the female students living at Dar Moustaqbel. They enforce the house regulations that are reasonably strict in order to help the girls concentrate on their studies. The students take turns cooking, cleaning and washing for all, in order to create responsibility and train practical skills while maximising the time each of them can spend on their education.
Living here enables young disadvantaged girls to fully focus on their studies. Instead of a village life of marriage and motherhood, they choose to use their talents to study, graduate and get a good job. Marriage and motherhood will come later. This way they can build another future for themselves and their families.
Mission, Vision and Objectives
What has been accomplished
The property has been renovated privately by the owners. They make the house available to the Moustaqbel Foundation at no cost. It is their personal gift to the Moustaqbel Foundation. After having lived in a rented place for one year with ten girls (2016-2017) a group of 27 girls moved into Dar Moustaqbel in September 2017. In 2018-2019 we had 42 girls on board. In 2019-2020 we have reached our maximum capacity of 55 girls.
Three highly educated house sisters/educational officers, live in the house to supervise and support the girls with coaching and supervision. The fourth house sister is responsible for all nutrition, creating menus and offering our students guidance during the preparation of their meals.
A house manager who speaks Darija, Berber, French, English and Dutch manages Dar Moustaqbel. Two French teachers take care of the daily French language courses. The Foundation provides a home, daily meals, extra classes and workshops and supervision of the girls on their way to an independent life with professional capacities and a job to go with it.
The house has capacity to house 55 students. As the older girls graduate, we can accept approximately 15 new students each academic year.
The Moustaqbel Foundation was initiated by Hanneke Ouwehand-van Hooff after having volunteered during several months in three different boarding houses for female high school pupils in the mountains. “The girls came from isolated villages in the High Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech and wouldn’t be in school without these boarding houses.’
During this period Hanneke was inspired by what these girls could accomplish. “It sparked the idea to give these dedicated girls a real opportunity to change their future by continuing their studies beyond secondary school. With the opportunity to live in Dar Moustaqbel they would really be able to make the step to a different future for themselves besides marriage, motherhood and village life.”