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Breathing Hope in Morocco's Education

Date published: 19 Apr 2017
Agadir, Souss-Massa-Draa, Morocco     0 likes   2

Overview

Delassus, a leading citrus exporter in the Moroccan market, launched a foundation named "Sanady" to academically improve its workers' children. This foundation aims to lower educational gaps by building its children's academic skills through focused tutoring mainly in French, English, Mathematics, and Life and Earth science. It also increases the children's self-esteem through extracurricular activities such as theater plays, and artistic workshops. 

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Innovation

According to Sanady’s website, student drop-out rates alarm socially active Moroccans, this number tops over 350,000 drop-outs every single year. It is a real social problem and root of many evils for the Moroccan government. Teaching's low quality in early classes is the main reason behind this phenomenon. The foundation has three main objectives. First, it provides workers’ children with tutoring sessions in subjects that are considered critical in Moroccan school’s curriculum. This concerns Mathematics, Physics, French, and Life and Earth science. These tutoring sessions form and develop students’ academic level necessary for a brighter future. Second, it engages students in extra-curricular activities which are geared toward developing self-confidence and self-worth. Through theater classes and artistic workshops students are encouraged to reveal their personalities and interact with each other in order to build themselves up.  It also enables them to seek personal development.

Overall impact

By opting to develop its workers’ childrens' education, Sanady is playing a leading role in society. Through education, it is increasing the overall society’s awareness and knowledge level. In doing so, the country is geared toward competitiveness and a stable economic and political role in the world, especially in the African continent. Through empowerment of its laborer’s kids, Sanady is breathing a new life into them. First, tutoring sessions are used to gain knowledge and improve the kids grades in school’s exams, thus being more competitive with their peers to rank higher and get a chance to access top higher education institutions in the Kingdom. Second, higher test scores correlates with higher rankings, which in turn open doors to the best institutions in the country. On the other hand, it will help these young prodigies secure a well paid job and therefore improve their overall situations. This initiative has also reflected on Delassus' overall productivity. Workers knew that their well-being and comfort are taken into consideration through their children's education. This has developed a sense of belonging to the company and increased their productivity.

Inspiration

Mr. Khalid Bounajma, Agadir's production unit CEO, is the man behind this bright idea. One day, Mr. Khalid was shocked that his friend failed in getting his son into the French schooling system in Casablanca mainly due to his French language weakness. However, he succeeded in doing so 600 Kms away, in Agadir. Mr. Khalid was astonished when he heard that the child didn’t have the necessary language requirements and thought to himself “How about the middle and low class workers in the public schooling system?”. Along with his Human Resources team he conducted a survey on his workers’ child education levels. The result came extremely disappointing since none of them had the “Baccalauréat”, Moroccan equivalent of high-school diploma. Therefore, he moved to action by using his connections to educate these children through "Sanady".

Business benefit

For this specific foundation, it is a not for-profit organization that uses its own revenues from business operations and the aid of some business partners to finance this initiative. There are two types of partners: financial, and they are composed of international and national companies, and technical such as the ministry of education, the international center of distance learning for teachers (CIFODEM), and others. Thanks to the generous help provided by those partners, all the services of education and tutoring are free of charge for the respective beneficiaries, and that’s only suitable for their target audience.

Social and environmental benefit

This is the area where this organization really shines, and it does so because it aims all its efforts into serving the social cause, and what better way to serve society other than improve its educational system. “Sanady” is well aware of the many challenges Morocco is facing concerning education, and therefore this small association has decided to reduce or even cure the numerous problems our educational system suffers from.

So how are they doing that? They started by focusing on lowering the rates of school dropouts, and that is done basically by giving educational support to different groups of students who need more support in specific classes. All this is concluded by biannual examination to keep track on students’ performances, and therefore successfully reintegrate them into their schools. Moreover, another contribution of this foundation is that it targets schools with bad overall infrastructure and it rehabilitates them.

Those were some benefits related to the students; however the real social good is aimed at the employees of “Delassus Company”, because it is helping them educate and cultivate their children. Doing that gives a certain reassurance to the parents/employees, who know the actual quality of the educational support provided by the well-trained teachers and tutors of “Sanady”. In addition to that, because good education is a crucial requirement for a successful career, helping children now is like giving an opportunity to the whole family to change its social status in this future, for the better eventually.

However, this foundation is facing many challenges, the first one being their serious need of well-qualified teachers and tutors in order to meet their objective, which is making education available for the maximum of beneficiaries. The managers of Sanady are trying to tackle this issue by creating a partnership with AUI students to go and complete their community involvement duty in that specific foundation. This approach will refresh the status of Sanady, and therefore will provide additional personnel assisting the tutors. One other major obstacle is that because this foundation has different centers dispersed all over the kingdom, there is usually an issue in coordinating and aligning with the core mission and objectives, and sometimes each center follows a random strategy to accomplish the goals of Sanady.

Interview(s)

Khalid Bounajma, CEO of Agadir's unit

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2 comments
  • Mary Grace Neville
    Mary Grace Neville This multi-stakeholder initiative brings social innovation to the forefront of the founder's business mission. Together, the partners comprising accountability for this advancement center and the young people being directly served reflect a leveling of a...  more
    April 19
  • Muyiwa Oni
    Muyiwa Oni Sanady started for the benefit of Delassus Company's employees and its positive impact has extended beyond employee welfare into partners institutions and the learning needs of the greater community. This wonderful story of social innovation highlights how...  more
    April 19