Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez

A School From Scratch in Morocco’s Mountains

We walk up the rocky goat’s path past the stone hearth that’s baked thousands of loaves of bread for the village, and come to the humble home of education in the valley of Ait Bouguemez.

Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
Using funds from Fleewinter’s bookings all over the world the manager of Rebali Riads, Mohamed El Mansouri headed the project here in the village of Agouti, Morocco. This is his home village and no one knows better than him the lack of resources and education for young children in remote areas of the country.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
Children in the area start at the next door government school around 5 or 6 years of age, but before that there was no available education.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
This school was built by the backs of local villagers — literally, and funded by stays from Fleewinter and Rebali Riad guests.
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Built using available and local sustainable sources the mud and straw must be collected and carried on backs to the local shop where it’s processed before being molded into one meter blocks. Then these blocks are built in a perimeter and left to dry in the sun for at least a week (more depending on weather, because it can be quite cold and at times rainy here in Morocco) before another layer of blocks can be added on top.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
As you can imagine, this process is tedious and time consuming; it was one whole year of hard work before the school was finally ready to receive their first students.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
Now the children have a safe, warm, and happy place to learn their numbers, reading essentials, and even some French.
 
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The kids are incredibly fast learners, too. As soon as I entered the room I greeted them in French, but after a few moments when they had grown accustom to my alien face and crazy, curly hair I told them to repeat after me.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
“Hello!” I said and they echoed “hello!”
“How are you?”
“I am fine, thank you!”
“My name is Brandy” and the room full of children shouted back, “my name is Brandy” so now somewhere in the hills of Morocco there are young children running around declaring their name is Brandy…
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
Rosy cheeks and laughter bouncing off the walls here while I try to explain MY name is Brandy… they think this is extra hilarious and each time they see me in the street after this the kids shout “HELLO! HOW ARE YOU!?”.
Fleewinter School in Ait Bougemez
Our time in this beautiful village was far too short, and if we’d known what a gorgeous setting and experience we were getting into we would have extended it by weeks — at least!
It was a huge inspiration to see the good being done with the funds from Fleewinter and we look forward to showing you more unique ways you can see the world while helping it make a better place for others. In the mean time if you’re planning a holiday to Morocco and want to snag oceanviews from your own villa while helping provide education for rural children look no further than Rebali Riads in Sidi Kaouki.
Rebali Riads Essaouira

Brandy Bell loves adventuring around the world. She’s been a solo female traveler since 2006 and has visited over 25 countries, made countless international friends, and now writes to inspire you to travel in a sustainable and responsible way.


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