Zakoura Foundation is a Moroccan organization committed to improving education for Morocco’s rural and vulnerable populations. The foundation develops several educational programs for children, youth, adults and local associations in rural areas. When designing educational programs, the foundation pays special attention to human rights, inclusive gender policies, sustainability as well as the integration of ICT in education.

More than 150,000 children, youth and women benefited from the programs of Zakoura Foundation, since its creation. At the moment Zakoura Foundation maintains the largest nongovernmental network of 500+ informal education schools in rural areas of Morocco.  

In order to provide access to quality education in a holistic manner, the foundation has created three different interlinked departments as follows;

  • Zakoura Education Department which is responsible for delivering education programs across isolated rural areas in Morocco;
  • Zakoura Academy which is responsible on providing training programs to the foundation staff itself as well as to the staff, teachers and administrators of schools and local associations; and
  • Zakoura Le Lab which concentrates on action-research and development. The Le Lab provides research on current global innovations in the sector of education. It then formulates various strategic frameworks to benefit and advise the whole educational system and policies. The department is also responsible on adopting best monitoring and evaluation practices and disseminates knowledge created thereafter.

First non-governmental network of schools in rural areas in Morocco

Thanks to the non-formal educational programs of Zakoura Foundation, 528 non-formal schools were created allowing the enrolment of more than 20,000 children aged 8 to 16 years old who either have never enrolled in schools or have dropped-out. The non-formal schools now provide the children with the basics and skills necessary to pass the final exam.

Through the delivery of a holistic education approach, Zakoura foundation has significantly transformed the education landscape in rural Morocco

School-to-work Training Programs
The foundation equips youth enrolled in Zakoura's non-formal schools with vocational training skills necessary for them to integrate smoothly within the formal labor market.
Parenting and Literacy Skills
The foundation trained parents on the latest positive-discipline measures and constructive parenting attitudes. Mothers also attend nutritional and literacy programs necessary to support their children's enhanced learning outcomes
Capacity Building for all Actors
The mission of the Zakoura Academy is to strengthen the skills of the local human development actors including teachers of preschools and administrators among others through appropriate and quality training.

Social Entrepreneurship Training
The foundation designed and delivered social entrepreneurship training programs targeting rural women. The training and technical assistance provided helps women realize their true potential. When mothers are economically empowerment, they will support the re-enrollment of their children to attend schools.
Integrating ICT in Education
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are embedded in Zakoura’s model of non-formal education. ICT allows the beneficiaries to keep up with innovative devices and content.

Since 2015, the foundation has spearheaded, created and expanded its flagship program the National Initiative for Early Childhood Education in Rural Areas (ANEER). ANEER aims at extending free and quality preschool education to isolated areas of the Kingdom of Morocco. The program’s principal goal is to enroll 50,000 preschool children in 500 free preschools. 

In order to overcome sustainable finance, the foundation has established the Rural Education Fund - FER. FER is a fundraising mechanism to support ANEER to create preschools in rural areas. Before the establishment of the FER, the Foundation adopted a traditional fundraising with a B2B relationship to collect the 300,000 Dirhams (31,000 US$) needed to create a school. Through the crowdfunding mechanism the fund allowed individuals and several companies of different sizes to pledge an annual contribution ranging from 5,000 dhm (500 US$) to 150,000 dhm (1,500 US$).

By NO Comment 1st December 2018

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