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Intrepid Supports Project To Empower Moroccan Girls’ Education During The Pandemic

July 10, 2020 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

With critical funding from The Intrepid Foundation, global tour operator Intrepid Travel’s not-for-profit arm, Moroccan NGO Education For All (EFA) launched ‘Project Tablets,’ an initiative to distribute technology tools to girls in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains after months in lockdown without access to the internet and remote learning.

The Moroccan government’s order to shut down all schools due to COVID-19 on March 16, 2020 resulted in education disappearing overnight for many girls in rural regions of the country. After three months in lockdown without internet, ‘Project Tablets’ has provided young women the opportunity to study remotely.

Last week, Intrepid’s Morocco General Manager, Hala Benkhaldoun, together with the EFA team, hand-delivered 25 tablets and SIM cards to the girls who are now able to resume their education. Since then, they have reported an increased confidence in their studies, a more productive learning environment and new access to online tutorial resources.

“Seeing the smiles on the girls’ faces and the relief in their eyes was the best reward,” said Benkhaldoun. “I am so proud of this strong generation of young Moroccan women fighting for their future.”

This is a cause Intrepid Travel has championed for years, with nearly AUD $230,000 to-date donated to the organisation via The Intrepid Foundation.

“Due to the pandemic’s impacts, we need to continue the organisation’s momentum to help these girls achieve their dreams,” said Zina Bencheikh, EMEA Managing Director at Intrepid Travel, who is from Marrakech and has worked closely with EFA over the years. “Morocco faces an 80 percent illiteracy rate among women, and EFA has made education accessible for young girls in remote areas where there are typically barriers to learning.”

EFA supports young women at safe boarding houses located close to secondary schools. When the schools are operating, the girls have access to books, computers, meals, study support and the opportunity to return home to their families every weekend. Girls engaged in the program earn grades at double the national average, and beyond this, the NGO’s work has contributed to an important shift in cultural attitudes towards female education.

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