The Duke and Duchess of Sussex this weekend visited the charity Education for All which educates Moroccan girls from rural areas, aiming to combat the 83% female illiteracy rate.
This is a cause Intrepid has championed with more than $150,000 to date donated to the charity via the operator’s not-for-profit The Intrepid Foundation.
“As one of the first female leaders of a travel company in a male dominated industry I know that education is key to improving gender inequality in Morocco and I was so proud to see the royal couple highlight this cause,” says Zina Bencheikh, Intrepid’s General Manager in Morocco.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met girls at two Education For All boarding houses including a henna ceremony for the Duchess and a meeting with the charity’s founder Michael McHugo MBE.
Tourism is well placed to lobby for gender equity in Morocco
To celebrate the royal visit, Intrepid Travel will donate £50 to Education For All for every traveller that books the Morocco: Women’s Expedition from now until International Women’s Day on 8 March.
“Tourism is well placed to lobby for gender equity in Morocco. Whether it is through fundraising for projects like Education for All, teaching local women how to build a tourism business or lobbying the government to increase the number of female tour leaders, each contributes to a cultural shift in a patriarchal society,” Bencheikh said.
The Women’s Expedition offers experiences you can only have with local women. It also empowers widowed or divorced women without an income stream to manage small tourism businesses, such as homestays and walking tours that Intrepid Travel visits. The expedition includes stays with Berber women, visiting a female rug-weaver co-op, taking home cooking classes and experiencing a hammam with local women.
Education for All supports 192 girls at five safe boarding houses located close to secondary schools. They have access to books, computers, three meals a day, study support and the opportunity to return home to their families every weekend. Girls engaged in the program are earning grades at double the national average and beyond this, the NGO’s work has contributed to an important shift in cultural attitudes towards female education.
For more information on the trip, see https://www.intrepidtravel.com/uk/morocco/morocco-womens-expedition-117509. To donate directly and be matched dollar for dollar, see https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/education-for-all
Mark Bibby Jackson
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