School of Gardening, Salé, Morocco
The Islamic Culture Foundation, within the Med-O-Med programme, continue working with the AAVB (Agence pour l’Aménagement de la Vallée du Bouregreg) in Morocco, on its new project, the School of Gardening Med-O-Med Bouregreg, in Salé.
The School of Gardening is located in the Bouregreg River shore in the periurban area between Rabat and Salé, which hosts a significant number of populations migrated from rural areas. These are extremely vulnerable groups at risk of social exclusion, especially women and young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Employment and training opportunities are almost non-existent, as there are high rates of poverty and marginality. The few green spaces in Rabat-Salé coincide with the lack of an specific training on the topic.
The Gardening School Med-O-Med – Bouregreg combines a professional training with a garden centre and a cooperative, linking economic rights of the youth and women in social exclusion risk, with the rights to a healthy and sustainable environment.
The project seeks to apply the experience on gardening gained in Spain, while generating environmental awareness on the basis of the Islamic cultural tradition. With the support of Spanish specialists from the University of Seville, the project focuses on local teachers training and enhances a sustainable economic development, with particular emphasis on the public spaces function as a place aimed to cohabitation.
It is a project of high social and environmental value, that seeks sustainability through employment creation and a source of revenue generating activities. The project is located close to the landfill of Oujla, which has been rehabilitated by the AAVB, and has a bioclimatic building, a nursery, a production garden centre for the selling of plants, and different cultural and touristic facilities.
The Project of FUNCI and AAVB counts with the collaboration of the Moroccan Ministère de l’Education Nationale et de la Formation Professionnelle, the INDH (Initiative Nationale pour Développement Humain), the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, the Entraide Nationale of Morocco, the Rabat-Salé-Kenitra Region, Drosos Foundation, the University of Seville and the International University of Rabat.
Also it has the contribution of the Spanish company Alsa.
The architectural project has been developed by the architecture firm Yvars y Mangera in cooperation with the Moroccan architect Hakim Jaafri. The landscape project has been developed by Mikel García de Eulate, and Soilestudio.
Since AAVB (Agence pour l’Aménagement de la Vallée du Bouregreg) and FUNCI signed an agreement in 2014 in order to create the “Gardening School Med O Med – Boureberg” in the city of Salé, the project has made astonishing progress. The School opened its gates for the academic year 2018-2019.
On the other hand, the landscape project to turn the seven hectares that constitute the ancient landfill site of Oulja progress consistently, in order to become a big nursery and a place for the students’ work on the ground. In fact, the apprentices have already planted a big part of the garden area, which has 120 different botanic species. The rest of the space will be turned into a nursery in the school year 2020-2021. At the same time, and with the purpose of ensuring the project’s economic sustainability, this space will become an attractive cultural park open to the public, with a shop for the selling of plants and organic farming products, and a restaurant, in addition to offering all kinds of cultural and raising-awareness workshops and activities.
The recruitment and training program, which form the soul of this social project targeted at groups at risk of social exclusion, is being carried out by the University of Sevilla’s professor Alberto Juan y Seva, through an agreement signed by FUNCI with this university.
The degree of this non formal training school is recognized by Morocco’s Ministry of National Education and Professional Training. This school is set to become not only a social reference point for Morocco, but also an environmental and touristic example.
Photographs that show the building of the School of Gardening Bouregreg Med-O-Med, which is already finished and is waiting bo be open soon. Currently we are working in the 7ha that will be the space of practices of the students, and a park open to the public for leisure purposes. This project includes a large nursery and other facilities such as a viewpoint, a small amphitheater, a playground for children, a garden center, and greenhouses.