By Ali Hannaoui, Member of the Rotaract Club of Hippocrate, Morocco
While recently hiking in a wonderful village located between Taroudant and Agadir, Morocco, young children walking to school with heavy footsteps reminded me of other regions and villages in my country. I never saw children going to school by bus or bikes, especially girls. In the most remote villages in our country, school is considered only necessary for boys, while girls are married young to reduce family expenses. I started asking myself what if there was something we could do about it?
When I returned home, I immediately brought the situation to the attention of our Rotaract club members; thirty people I consider my second family. My Rotaract Club of Hippocrate is a university-based club composed of medical students. We are all dedicated individuals passionate about creating positive and sustainable change in our community. After an active discussion, we decided to start a new project, Action Vélos: Education pour tous (Action Bikes: Education for all). The goal of the project was to provide girls and boys the opportunity to learn, grow, and change their community for the better by giving them the chance to go to school. In order to do this, we provided bikes for the commute to school and raised awareness about education and its importance for their futures.
As we started our fundraising, we really struggled to raise the money needed to buy 60 bikes. It was a challenge we had to overcome as it was the first time we worked on such a large project. Our fundraising relied on private sponsorships from local businesses and donations collected by going door-to-door to promote the project. After months of determination and commitment, we accomplished our goal.
On 1 July, students from Ibellaten School in Imintlit, Morocco received their bikes. Their glowing and emotional faces made us forget about the challenges we went through to make it happen. A year later, our joy was uncontainable when we learned the school drop-out rate reduced by 20% and 10 more girls gained access to education.
Read more posts related to basic education and literacy.