OUaRZAZATE, HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS, MOROCCO
"Ouarzazate" (pronounced "War-za-zat") is a Berber word, meaning "without noise." Although the area itself has experienced significant noise in recent times as it has become the largest home to a number of Hollywood productions (think Laurence of Arabia and Babel), more than 70% of the population in the region continues to live in poverty. The rural exodus to the city of Ouarzazate is one of the highest in the province. The region is landlocked and has great needs in the areas of health and education.
Extreme weather conditions coupled with extreme poverty create a number of issues in area schools. Dry winters can be especially cold due to icy winds from the mountains, resulting in difficult learning conditions in schools that are not equipped with heating systems. Icy, muddy, and flooded roads also prevent students from physically accessing their schools. Consequently, many children, especially girls, do not attend school because they live too far to walk to school on impassable roads. Many girls of secondary school age also drop out of school due to lack of sanitation facilities and a water supply at schools.
Center for Development's projects aim to tackle the Ouarzazate Region's issues by firstly increasing school attendance by mobilizing communities to improve area schools and environments.
Doaur Ait Attou Ouikou