Project SOAR is a non-profit organization based in a Marrakesh village that is dedicated to uplifting less-privileged communities through art, design and movement. Supports young girls to Grow Smart, Grow Strong and Grow Inspired!
As social entrepreneurs, Maryam Montague and Chris Redecke are the sorts of people who believe that the world would be a better place if everyone made a sincere effort to do a little good. Beginning in 2012 they decided to take ten percent of their profits from their uber chic guesthouse Peacock Pavilions and create an association called Project SOAR Marrakesh. the idea for Project SOAR is simple: it is to help the village, Douar Ladaam, to soar a little higher. As parents, Maryam and Chris particularly wanted to help the children, and especially the girls. They are currently serving 50 underprivileged girls as well as a community of 350 families.
Project SOAR now has grown to comprise different projects and goals. They include:
Under-served communities have access to few affordable recreational opportunities. Children often feel this absence most acutely. This is true Douar Ladaam, Project SOAR's pilot community with Marrakesh.
Project SOAR focuses on girls because they tend to have fewer outlets than boys. the girls go to school six days a week but on most Sunday mornings during the school year, you can find them at Peacock Pavilions, which serves as Project SOAR headquarters.
Art and sports are emphasized because many public primary and middle schools don't offer these activities. Project SOAR also provides basic health education. The activities are either led by a qualified instructor or a medical doctor.
Activities thus far have included yoga, sculpture, glass mosaics, pilates, field games, sewing, basketball, stenciling, building, theater, photography, drawing, painting and much more. The girls tell us that Project SOAR is their favorite part of the week. Laurier Blanc was honored to be with the Project SOAR girls on their first field trip! They went to the Gallery Tindouf to see the exhibit of Tahar Ben Jelloun and hear a talk from Hadia Temli on understanding the components of art and expression and receive a book on the exhibit. this was the first time ever for all of the girls visiting a gallery or museum (and the first time for many in a bus)!
Additionally, Project Soar has partnered with One World Futbol to provide hundreds of indestructible soccer balls to 52 villages in the local government commune of Ouidane. Soccer is a great way for gils and boys to be active and have fun. Go Team!
Interested in helping to fund a particular project, host a fundraising/awareness event or get involved? Please visit www.projectsoarmarrakesh.org/take-action/ to learn more or to sign up for updates and information.
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