ATAD: a beacon for rural girls and boys

Retaining the record of the association that provides the highest number of job opportunities in Morocco. The Tighza Atlas Association of Development was first established to cope with the economic crisis of the region after the closure of the mining company Ouam in 1993. The closure was a social catastrophe, for the majority of the residents work in the mine; therefore, a main financial resource. ATAD was officially founded on September the third of 2000.

ATAD’s main goal is helping marginalized people in difficult situations by preventing illiteracy and dropping out of school, encouraging women emancipation and autonomy, promoting solidarity and population participation in auto development projects, thus participate in the economic, social, and cultural development of the region of khenifra( three hours away from the capital Rabat).

Infrastructure and human potential:

Four social complexes: dar Taliba and dar Talib Tighzadar Tilmid and Tilmida in Bouchbel, ait Otmane 


and a professional training center for young girls and women in M’rirt.

Three school buses, a service car, and an ambulance.

Besides 250 workers, and 1500 direct beneficiaries from the services provided by the association.

The Executive bureau through the ATAD coordinator runs a total of four poles:

Education and school enrollment:

ATAD has initiated fruitful collaborations and successful relationships with some European associations (Spanish, Swiss, and French), plus government help, to encourage school enrollment, especially young girls in the rural world and prevent dropping out of school.

“My main job is making sure all the girls go to school regularly, I keep an eye on their schedules and grades, which I go and fetch, myself, in the administration. when results are unsatisfactory we provide help( a sort of job for a young teacher or college student at the same time), on the other hand, every year we do a little celebration for brilliant students hoping they will inspire others, for, you know, the majority of their parents are illiterate”, says the supervisor of dar Taliba and dar Talib Tighza.

“Last year we welcomed 360 students, closing the year with 347; however, the capacity is only 326, so we had to improvise, switching the studying room into a dormitory”, she adds.

Tackling its main challenges: Promote public schooling, improve the quality of education, and strengthen school infrastructures. The association had built social complexes for primary and secondary students, while providing and managing school transport.

Youth and citizenship:

ATAD creates a harmonious and healthy space for the youth, via different activities for the students (theatre are sport competitions are some of many other examples), which are not only for fun and distressing, but also encourage participation in supportive activities and citizenship education.

Training, qualification, and professional integration:

 Inaugurated in 2008 by King Mohammed VI, and directed by ATAD, a training and qualification center for women. Ever since then, approximately 260, women and young girls, get trained each year at the center (computer science, tapestry, pastry, sewing…). Not only this training optimizes their integration in the professional world but also gives them enough know-how, experience, and courage to create their own revenue-generating activities. Preventing illiteracy and making women active socio-economic participants.


Social economy, solidarity, and partnerships:

This pole is mainly responsible for creating synergies and virtuous circles of economic growth, social inclusion, and solidarity. Which highlights the region’s potential in terms of solidarity tourism and promotes local heritage development.


Beekeeping, rearing goats, plus supplying a local village with drinkable water, are some examples of initiatives taken to achieve the goals.


“The association [ATAD] was first created to build a fence around the local school, and maybe to do some fun activities for the kids, and look where we stand today, providing insured jobs for the locals”, says the treasurer at ATAD.

By Admamou Hiba

Unikorn Staff
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