Marry at Fifteen or Attend School: EFA provides solutions for girls in rural Morocco

Photo by Heather Binns

Photo by Heather Binns

As summer draws to an end and we prepare for “back-to-school”, it is easy to overlook what we often take for granted.  Education is a privilege not readily available to many of  the world’s girls, often due to an arduous commute.

In Morocco, adolescent girls living in remote villages are most likely to drop out of school around the age of twelve because of lack of access to middle and higher education in their immediate vicinities. Parents of teenaged girls are often unwilling to let them travel long distances away from home due to concerns for their safety and social restrictions.  With few options, girls in Morocco are often forced into early marriage. According to UNFPA, “In developing countries, one in every three girls is married before reaching age 18. One in nine is married under age 15.”

Kahina Giving Beauty is proud to support Education For All, Morocco, now opening its fifth boarding school for girls in the High Atlas Mountains. This means that an additional 40 girls can attend school beyond the fifth grade. The success rate that can be attributed to the free room and board provided by Education For All is impressive, with a 97% pass rate across all levels (12-18 years). There are now 18 graduates enrolled at university – the first in their villages to ever reach this level of education. Education for All is also able to support them with living grants so they can focus on their studies and pursue their future dreams.

To get a clearer picture of just what free room and board for these girls means, watch this especially moving UNESCO video and powerful documentary about a day in the life of Fatima, one of the EFA girls.  Without the help of Education For All, 15-year-old Fatima’s daily commute to school could take up to eight hours.  Her only other option would be marriage at a young age arranged by her parents.

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