Changing Worlds in the Atlas Mountains: a short film with a powerful universal message

Changing Worlds in the Atlas Mountains: a short film with a powerful universal message

We’re delighted to say our crowdfunded film is almost finished — we hope you enjoy the teaser clip, coming soon. The film is now ready to be properly graded and polished. Ghita who is featured here has since passed her baccalauréat and has been awarded a full scholarship to study at SIST University Casablanca. We're all so happy and proud of this very wonderful young woman and it’s a reminder of just how incredible the work of Education for All and all charities that help girls from rural areas continue their studies.

When women are educated:

  • Marriage comes later

  • Fewer, healthier children are born

  • Women live longer and contribute more to the economy

  • Equality in society improves

  • There is a better understanding of global warming, and women have the skills to cope with extreme weather changes

Kuba has done the most incredible job of editing hours and hours of his beautiful footage, and navigating his way through interviews in four languages. We are eternally grateful to supremely-talented composer, Michael Blainey for scoring the original emotive music which is what really makes it sing.

Thank you to all the students who took part and also to Sonia Omar, who always had the wellbeing of the girls and their families front of mind — to have her watch the first edit and reply with this meant the world:

"Deeply touching, uplifting, thought-provoking, a window into another world, sensitive, heart warming. It’s perfect. Thank you!"

We are starting to look at distribution (another steep learning curve facing us!) If you have any suggestions or connections for platforms, film festivals or education conferences you think might like to screen Kuba Nowak's gentle, touching, beautiful film which tells a story of love, support, and appreciation for the importance of educating young women, then please let us know.

SCREENINGS:

Sunday 8 and Monday 9 September — PURE Life Experiences in Marrakech.

A huge thank you to Education for All’s boarding houses for letting us spend time with these determined Berber women in the Atlas Mountains… These incredible homes looked after by dedicated housemothers have meant in the last 10 years scores of girls have been able to access a secondary education… Girls who otherwise might been forced to marry at the age of 13 and whose mothers, cousins and neighbours were lucky even to access the most basic primary education. Who knows what impact this will have on their futures, or the future of Morocco. But giving girls and young women the chance at secondary education only make a dramatic difference to the wellbeing of our world — for all of us. — Juliet Kinsman, BOUTECO founder and producer of the film.

Education for All — why we want to make a film about this charity changing worlds in the Atlas Mountains

Education for All — why we want to make a film about this charity changing worlds in the Atlas Mountains

FEBRUARY 2019 — BOUTECO will soon be crowdfunding for us to make a from-the-heart documentary about an inspiring charity in the Atlas Mountains which we hope will help improve the lives of underprivileged girls in rural Morocco — and beyond.

Education for All house mother: photo by Kuba Nowak.

Education for All house mother: photo by Kuba Nowak.

Soundtracked by girls singing in harmony, under the deepest blue sky, a group of us hiked Imlil's peaks last September — demonstrating varying degrees of suitability when it came to fitness and footwear. A group of journalists and editors from around the world, in Morocco for the travel-industry event, PURE Life Experiences, a big supporter of the charity Education For All. It was thanks to this walk amid such sunny soul-uplifting mountain scenes that we were all inspired and happy to be learning more about the boarding houses funded by Education for All. 


Photos, Right: taken on my iPhone on the walk


As we chatted with these charming, curious, confident young women, we communicated through smatterings of English, a little French, with occasional Arabic phrases whispered back through translation. (It was so refreshing to spend time with girls who challenged the stereotypes of their teen equivalents in London who'd be solemnly glued to their smartphones!) Our hosts included the NGO’s patron, the genial and straight-talking British Ambassador, Thomas Reilly. As I clumsily stumbled along another steep stony path, he candidly and cheerily explained why he thinks the work of Education for All here in these hills makes this project one of the world's most worthy of being in the media spotlight:

"It's one of the most remarkable projects I’ve seen: Education for All is truly changing people’s lives.”

As a travel writer and hotel expert, I’ve known about Education For All for quite some time — since first meeting Chris and Mike McHugo and hearing about how their unique mountain retreat Kasbah du Toubkal helps fund the charity’s work. I'm a professional evangeliser of how hospitality businesses can be a force for good my interest is always piqued when I see purpose up there as a priority, and it has been heartening to hear about their incredible achievements in the last decade — earning Mike McHugo an MBE in the most recent round of New Year’s Honours.

This is why I have been inspired to work with filmmaker Kuba Nowak to give these young women a platform to demonstrate the positive impact has by their being able to access a secondary education. Kuba spent almost 10 days with the girls and their Imlil “families”, experiencing an extraordinary community of hope, learning, determination and love and care for humanity. As Ambassador Reilly put it:

"It would be great if this film could sensitise people to the role of women in society – show the importance of education for girls and the value of educating women from the economic point of view since they comprise 52% of the population and workforce."

Through our sensitive portrayal of the life of these teenagers and their successes (where futures might otherwise have been bleak), we will amplify the universal message that world change starts with improved education for all. We want to make a tender, touching, and beautiful observational documentary which reveals how gentle, yet powerful, human kindness is changing lives here in the Atlas Mountains.

As well as expressing some of the students' honest, intimate thought-provoking stories, we want our film to celebrate the dedicated, loving housemothers who are giving families facing poverty a precious chance for their daughters to fulfil their potential. Please do get in touch with us about how you can support our film — we will be crowdfunding to produce their 12-minute movie so that we can all continue to open minds, and raise awareness of the invaluable impact of girls accessing education past primary school and show how grass-roots charity initiatives such as ours can genuinely change worlds.

header and footer photos by Kuba Nowak.

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