Very few girls from the rural communities of the High Atlas Mountains get the opportunity of continuing their education beyond primary school. Secondary schools, mostly several miles away in larger towns, are not accessible to them because their parents cannot afford to pay for lodgings or transport.
Geography teacher Will Ellis, who organised the concert at Michaels’ Church and is the driving force behind the school’s fundraising effort for Education for All, said: “On our trip in October, some of the students were so inspired by their visit to the girls’ boarding house in Asni that they decided to raise some money. To provide board and lodging, plus support for their learning in school for one girl costs £850 (or 10,600 dirhams). So far we have raised over £1500, with a cake sale and non-uniform day in February. Last week’s concert was a whole-school event, involving students form Year 7 to Year 13, and raised £800. This total means that we can fund a year’s education for a girl from the mountains, and are well on our way to raising enough money for a second year. We hope to carry on fund-raising , with more events in the pipeline.
“For me, it is just so valuable to see how our fund-raising has had such a direct impact on significantly changing lives and seeing how the girl we have supported through her education is passing on the message about the importance of education to a new generation of girls. To have the opportunity to raise more funds through organising and being involved in fun events like this is great. We can see how donating money can have a direct impact on people in Morocco.”
Sixthformer Stella Stevens added: “The concert was a massive success, thanks to the amazing array of talent on display and the hard work of various members of the teaching staff. The money we raise pays for an entire year of schooling with the charity, including food and board. The funding will go to Amal Ait Aabou, aged 12, who hopes to become an ophthalmologist. It feels nice to raise money for a smaller scale, bottom-up scheme as you can really see the impact your support makes.”