After reading about the Hannan School in a leaflet in one of the services at church I took a keen interest. I could see that the charity is well on its way in being developed and felt compelled to use my skills of teaching to help. The charity itself helps children between the ages of 3-5 in getting a grasp of education before going to primary school. It is unfortunate in Morocco that although state schooling is free, families still struggle to send their children to school because uniforms and resources come at a cost. The charity helps to give children a grounding in education and allows for children to be sponsored so that they have sufficient resources while at state school.
During my time in Morocco I experienced a real mix of emotions from happiness to compassion. I had been told stories of the culture in Morocco but seeing was really believing! The people are so humble and generous and the family we stayed with really took us in like we were her own. However, at the heart of the cultures kindness still lies issues of poverty. Last year’s group raised money to build a new floor on top of the preschool and they successfully managed it so when this year’s group of about 8 people turned up there was a great space for us to work with. During my week in Morocco we worked hard in the preschool setting up resources for the children and teachers to use and transforming the space in which the children use to learn. We created an outside play area on the roof with bats, balls, hopscotch, skipping ropes, sand and water for the children to engage with. With the upstairs space we made a book corner, a creative room, another classroom and a conference room. There were some barriers at first in getting the teachers to understand how children can learn through playful activities, seeing as the education in Morocco is through rote learning and copying from a blackboard even at the young age of 3 but once shown what to do and how it can work the teachers were entirely grateful at all the work we had done and were excited to continue it! During the stay Morocco we also carried out first aid, dental hygiene and domestic violence courses to the women. These sessions were both emotional yet very rewarding.
This year we also carried out a 20 mile hike in Morocco to raise further money for the school and so that the charity can continue to grow. The trek was extremely exhausting and the heat really made an impact on the walking. I enjoy jogging and walking however with the temperature in Morocco being so high and there being no shade. I struggled and actually collapsed 3/4 of the way through. However, I was determined to finish it because I knew the money raised was going to such a good cause.
The work that Hannah and Hmad have done here is making such a positive impact on the life of not only the children in the village but also to the lives of the women and their families. The amount of children being sponsored is amazing giving them the right to the education they deserve. I just pray that it can continue so that more and more children can access education.
I would recommend this trip to everyone and pray that the charity continues to be supported so that it can grow and develop.