Another one of GlobalGiving’s projects in the Marrakech area is with the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF). Their site, the Lalla Aouda Saadia School, was not available for us to visit because it’s summer so all the students are away. Instead, we went to see two Dar Talibas in Ourika and Tamazouzte.
Dar Taliba, meaning “student house” is a home for girls from rural villages to stay at during the year while they are in school. Many of them live too far away from schools and would not be able to attend if not for these GDF sites. All the girls had gone back to their villages for the summer, but project leader Mohamed gave us a tour of the facilities and the gardens, where the girls who live there help take care of local plants. They help preserve their local customs by writing down the names and uses (medicinal, edible, etc.) of the plants, and also collected recipes from family members, which are often written down for the first time and can be translated from Berber languages into French and Arabic.
Shonali and I also met with Jamila (bottom photo), a truly remarkable young woman. Jamila, a former resident of the Dar Taliba in Ourika, went on to university in Rabat and returned to the home as an assistant director. She is a great example to all the young girls at these homes, and we hope many of them are as inspired by her as we were!
Read more about and donate to this GlobalGiving project here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/gdf-marrakech-girls-school-garden/
Aliza is in Morocco, Spain and France as a part of GlobalGiving’s In The Field program. Follow along at alizainthefield.tumblr.com or on Twitter @alizaapp.