Assafou Association creates opportunities for children and adults

We contribute to our local communities and have always demonstrated an ongoing commitment to operate as a socially responsible business. From sustainable tourism, to healthcare and education initiatives, we are always striving to get involved and make a real difference locally. 

Our feature this month, looks at the non-governmental organisation, The Assafou Association which was founded in 2011 by Ahmed Nait, Director of Travel Link and Abdelkarim Ouachikh.  

Situated in the Tahannaout region of Morocco, the association builds centres to provide pre-school education, fight illiteracy among rural women and encourage rural world preservation. It aims to equip children and adults with the skills and tools so that they can take charge of the sustainability of their future. The association ensures the right to development and education for every child, youth and adults and actively fights against all forms of exclusion from education. It develops initiatives to improve the quality of education so that children have access to basic education and prepares the children for tomorrows’ world. 

Over 14 educational centres have now been established in the Atlas Mountains: 11 pre school centres and 3 women centres (co operatives).  In Talataste, a village south of Marrakech and located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, a centre was established in 2010. The village, which has over 300 berber inhabitants, benefited from an educational centre as part of a collaboration between Travel Link and the British Moroccan Society. The education centre teaches over 26 pupils aged 4 to 6. Another teacher runs extra-curricular activities (computers, reading, theatre in the afternoon for up to 100 children in groups of 20 to 30. There is also a Literacy programme for 30 women aged 17 to 50.

In Agounsane, a village with a population of 700, south of Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains there is a charitable centre set up by Travel Link and Saga Holidays in 2012. The centre has both a kindergarten and a library equipped with computers. In 2015, a room was constructed and opened for girls who have missed out on school and for women to have classes in such things as literacy, embroidery and weaving. There are currently 24 pupils (8 boys, 16 girls) aged 4 to 6 all taught by 1 teacher. There are also 25 secondary school pupils who use the library for their homework and 32 women (aged 17 to 50) who benefit from the multifunctional centre. 

The managing team of the Association is made up of members from different backgrounds: academics, university professors tourism professionals, entrepreneurs executives. All highly qualified with experience and expertise and all sharing values based on respect and solidarity.

The Founder, Ahmed Nait, Othman Nait, General Manager and all the friends and family of Travel Link are involved with the Association’s initiatives. Ahmed Nait said “We place significant value on the importance of conserving traditions and provide centers as an opportunity to pass on the knowledge of ancient artistic traditions such as weaving, and embroidery. It is our mission to help people, young and old, in the poorest areas of our community, flourish.”

Driven to touch the hearts and minds of travellers, Travel Link provides local destination knowledge, expertise and resources to deliver unforgettable off the beaten tracks travel itineraries. A visit to the centres can form part of the travel experience and really creates an authentic experience of Morocco to independent and group travellers.