After graduating from primary school, many young children in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains are unable to move onto secondary school simply because these schools are often located several miles away from their homes, accessible only through unpaved gravel paths that wind through the mountains. With no guaranteed mode of transportation, most simply drop out of school; a mere 20-30% of students who enroll actually graduate from secondary school.
To increase the number of students who enroll in and attend secondary school in the area, we have teamed up with renowned photographer Zack Arias and Morocco’s Center for Development to provide better access to education through safe, accessible and affordable transportation. In March Zack traveled with us to Ouarzazate, Morocco to explore the terrain and to meet with the students and the community members. We will use Zack’s imagery to design and implement a communications campaign to widely publicize a school-bus transportation system and attract individual and institutional donors.
Once the funds for a yellow school bus are raised, we’ll get started on a pilot school bus system. Together with the Center for Development, local PTAs, as well as community and governmental organizations, we’ll get 1-2 minibuses to Ouarzazate and establish bus routes and a schedule. Buses will then pick up high schoolers living in nearby villages at scheduled stops on the way to school and drop them off at scheduled stops after the end of the school day. After the one year pilot, we’ll work to expand the system to reach more communities in the broader region in the coming 10 years.