Dear friends, sponsors and supporters of the école vivante Morocco,
Peace be with you.
The summer holidays are nearly over and in a few days the école vivante will open its doors again to start the third year of school.
I am happy to share with you today some news from the High Atlas Mountains.
At the very beginning of the école vivante, many years ago, there was the love for this valley, the respect for nature and people, the appreciation of the ancient Berber culture and the vision to offer to the children here an opportunity to develop at their full potential.
In 2007 we started the project with our Swiss friends and with the small seed of a common idea. Over the last five years this seed came to grow up- thanks to the great commitment of all people involved- to be already a little tree with roots and branches,
rooted in this remote and rough location, which bloom different offers and chances for local children and young people,
and with branches that are eagerly seeking contact with the wider world.
The first two school years of the école vivante were successfully completed with children who have (re)discovered and kept their pleasure of learning, and we start now in our third year of school.
Currently, the demand for placements is greater than the effective capacity of the elementary school. The project has become a centre of education and work for men and women of different social levels. In this remote valley in which jobs and further educational offers are scarce, our school and related projects are active contributions to the local economy and a reason for families to stay in the valley.
Thanks to your contributions we are able to realize the vision of a peaceful and mindful togetherness and to develop the école vivante which already became a global educational project with four different but related areas:
- The free primary school
- The workshops
- The public community centre
- The centre for special needs
1. The free primary school
Since its opening in 2010, the primary school école vivante is growing along with the children, level by level, from 1st to 6th class. The Moroccan curriculum is being implemented with a mindful pedagogy, and in respect of cultural conditions. The customized education is supplemented with a creative learning content. The children experience a learning environment in which they feel accepted and supported according to their abilities and their personal level of development. To discover and to explore the world, to move and to create something, to get support, to develop a strong self is the daily practiced reality. Various activities and excursions strengthen the roots of the children. The opportunities to develop their imagination and the lively exchange with friends from Europe give the children wings.
The school is authorised by the Moroccan educational ministry.
NEWS: This autumn 6 new students are accepted, and two other teachers are incorporated into the team. Thus, 30 children are attending now the primary school and are accompanied by 6 educators in total.
The school, like all private schools in Morocco, does not get any financial governmental support; thus the école vivante is dependent on donations and sponsorships. The tuition fee of 25,- Euro per month/child is adjusted to the parents income level. In reality a school child costs the école vivante about 110,- Euro/month.
Why don’t we ask for the usual private school tuition, which in the Moroccan cities is at least 80,- Euros/month plus the cost of teaching materials?
Because the école vivante clearly wants to be a school for children of all social classes. The école vivante follows its vision and philosophy to be a place where children from different social backgrounds can learn and grow.
To pay all the running costs, such as the wages (which match those in public education), the materials, communication-fees, insurance, meals (daily snack and lunch 2 x weekly) and the facility rent, the school is currently in need of financial support from outside.
2. The creative workshops and sports facilities
On the existing sites of the école vivante should now emerge studios and workshops according to the example of the Swiss “Brütwerk” (www.bruetwerk.ch).
In a well prepared environment and accompanied by supporting adults, the children and young people of the valley will have the chance to discover their personal creative, handy and sport talents.
The well-equipped workshops of different kinds (paint, wood, metal, electrical, textile, etc.) allow experimental work to be done. The young people will experience a respectful, careful contact and feel seriously accepted with their whole identity. These workshops will be a place to do exploratory work, to playfully try things and to realize ideas. The youth is encouraged to fill the space that is given to them with their personality and they will also get suggestions for shaping and organizing their own future.
Different kinds of sports classes offer participants the opportunity to train themselves, to challenge and to overcome their own limits and to learn to channel their energy.
In the various classes and workshops, the girls and boys learn to know themselves, to try and make new things, to value traditional crafts, to establish self-responsibility and mutual respect, and to grow stronger in the process of becoming an adult.
NEWS: The demand of the population for these leisure activities is huge. Several local developments in recent years have also shown how urgently such a place for young people is needed. Due to the lack of funding and a building, the leisure centre currently can not open even during the two long months of summer vacation, though the plans for the needed buildings are ready.
3. The community centre with library and educational course program
At the upper level of the workshops-building the public library and the community centre will be hosted.
With extensive educational opportunities for women and men of various ages, it will offer access to knowledge and be a platform for exchange and mutual learning. The courses encourage a more self-determined, responsible behaviour, they will communicate ideas to follow a sustainable way of life and strengthen the identity of the people living in the valley.
The cross-cultural encounters with visitors and speakers from different countries offer mutual learning opportunities and contribute to the promotion of peace, the appreciation of their own cultures and a life in tolerance towards others.
The education centre will regularly and realistically inform about migration, urban and rural life and livelihoods, as well as offering seminars, women groups and training on various topical issues (education, health, ecology, modern media, etc.). A multipurpose room also provides space for larger meetings and festivities. These rooms can be rented to guests for seminars and courses and become a small source of income for the project.
NEWS: The building site for the workshops and the community centre has been excavated and is currently used by the school as a sports field. The plans for the building are ready, but due to lack of financial resources, the actual construction could not be started. There is a need for funds for the construction to start, which will benefit the entire valley.
4. The centre for special needs
An educational program for people with special needs promotes the integration of children with disabilities into the regular school.
The prime focus is currently the promotion and inclusion of children with hearing impairments. Several volunteers from Europe teach and practice sign language with the children and their families, as well as with the teaching staff of the école vivante.
The formation of the local team is currently developing with the support and in interaction with international organisations. New methods of learning and teaching are established in respect to the deaf child’s individuality and adapted to the local language and communication conditions. The children’s families get service, knowledge and support in everyday life through consulting, as well as the opportunity to get in contact with other parents.
NEWS: The école vivante is looking for sign language-competent and preferably deaf / hearing impaired volunteers to work (on short or long-term basis) at the école vivante and to participate in developing this important area, which is also dependent on outside funding.
Over the last year 2011/12 the école vivante was able to realize the following:
• Extension of the primary school to 30 pupils, 6 teachers and a total of 4 grade levels.
• Organisation of trainings, both for the Moroccan teachers in the partner school (Switzerland), as well as for various European educators in Morocco, to encourage mutual professional and personal development.
• Repair of the school bus; first use expected for September’12.
• Active intercultural dialogue through the organisation of long-term family exchanges and regular meetings between locals and visitors.
• Trainings by various sign language competent people in Morocco to establish the education program for children with hearing impairment.
• Extra-curricular French language courses for women of the valley.
• Public tutoring for students of public schools.
• Naturopathy trainings (homeopathy for women done by the association “HSF France” and courses in the use of local medicinal herbs).
• Role modelling of ecological-sustainable lifestyle (all buildings in rammed-earth architecture and use of indigenous materials, use of composting toilets, recycling, bio-dynamic farming, in preparation: passive and active energy-use and solar technology).
• Raising public awareness (garbage collection campaigns, information on holistic living, hygiene, health, education, training and use of new media).
Conclusion and outlook:
With its local roots as well as the global orientation the project école vivante grew to be a role model and sets an innovative example.
In times of political and religious turmoil, the “Arab Spring” with its changes, the increasing hopelessness amongst young people in general and the growing fear of the unknown, the école vivante provides a concrete alternative.
The educational institution école vivante is a social development project that has grown from the real needs of the residents and in harmony with the local conditions.
Thanks to your support, the vision “with roots and wings” is implemented in daily action and interaction, and allows people here to access the tools at hand which enables them to build their futures with confidence.
The école vivante creates opportunities to act self-sustainable and offers opportunities for the future, it provides ideas and impulses, and it encourages a move forward which respects old values and opens new pathways.
The école vivante commits to a peaceful and fruitful exchange and a respectful coexistence of different religions and cultures, and is doing its part to make our world a little more colourful, tolerant and loving.
But the global project école vivante relies and depends on its existence and its development through donations and practical support!
A financial contribution will help us to work with all our energy, to do the daily educational job in the school, it helps children from low-income families to attend the école vivante, where they will develop their talents, and it allows the whole project to grow.
As a “self-help project” under construction, we are constantly dependent on donations in order to realize the next steps in planning:
- Expansion of the school building and lease of the entire project area (approximately 3,500 sqm). Cost: about 20,000,- Euro.
- Construction of the workshops which are at the heart of the community centre. The investment costs for the first construction step will be approximately 30,000,- Euro.
- Development of the existing teaching staff and training of new teachers. The training cost this year is about 8,000,- Euro.
As the project école vivante increasingly grows and expands, the tasks and areas of work increase as well and become more work to organize. We therefore ask for your direct and specialized help!
Currently we are looking for help and practical support in the following areas:
• Consulting and coaching in management and overall project management
• PR and Public Relations
• Translation of the website content and of various flyers (German to English and German to French)
• Training in professional accounting
• Fundraising – worldwide
We sincerely thank all the donors who have supported us over the past year, and all of our friends, sponsors and circle of friends for your great commitment, advertising and networking!
We would especially like to thank our partner school www.scuolavivante.ch, Veronika and Jürg, for their ideological and pedagogical support and motivation, as well as for their helpful contacts.
Thanks to all the students, parents, and also the numerous visitors from all over the world! We thank you for your active partaking in everyday school life. This lively interaction makes participating, learning and teaching at the école vivante a really joyful experience.
Warm greetings from the happy valley in the Central High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
We wish you a blessed late summer with health and happiness.
Peace be with you,
Itto & the team of école vivante
For donations to école vivante please use one of the following contacts:
Name of the holder: Association Vivante
Name of the bank: Attijariwafa Bank
Agence Daoudiate Marrakech (204)
Bank account number: 00 0204 E 000 304 846 21110
BIC: 007 450 00 0204 5000 30 48 46 77
SWIFT ID: BCM AM AMC
Verein Ait Bouguemez e.V.
Bank-Code 840 550 50
Bank account number: 0012012874
IBAN: DE44 8405 5050 0012 0128 74
Verein Scuola Vivante
IBAN: CH78 0900 0000 8558 6291 6
Online donation via paypal here
If you like, we can send you an official acknowledgment of receipt.