The Duke and Duchess of Sussex witnessed first-hand at the weekend the efforts of the Intrepid Foundation to give back to the communities in which its parent Intrepid Group operates.
Harry and Meghan visited two boarding houses in the Moroccan mountain village of Asni, operated by the Education for All initiative, one of the Unesco movements supported by Intrepid’s charity arm.
Its objective is to address an 83% rate of female illiteracy among the community.
The visit came as part of the royals’ three-day visit to the country, during which the duchess was given a henna tattoo to bless her pregnancy. They also met with the Education for All charity’s founder Michael McHugo MBE.
Meeting those who have helped make @EFAmorocco a success, including housemothers, who look after around 40 girls in each boarding house throughout the week. #RoyalVisitMorocco \uD83C\uDDF2\uD83C\uDDE6\uD83C\uDDEC\uD83C\uDDE7. pic.twitter.com/iz14ZeVwV8— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 24, 2019
Kensington Palace said the charity "has given girls from the poorest villages and most remote areas of Morocco the chance to reach their potential and contribute to Morocco’s continued development".
To mark the visit, Intrepid Travel had pledged to donate £50 to the charity for every traveller that books its Morocco: Women’s Expedition itinerary before International Women’s Day on March 8.
“As one of the first female leaders of a travel company in a male dominated industry, I know education is key to improving gender inequality in Morocco,” said Zina Bencheikj, Intrepid’s general manager in Morocco. “I was so proud to see the royal couple highlight this cause.
“Tourism is well placed to lobby for gender equity in Morocco. Whether it is through fundraising for projects like Education for All, teaching local women how to build a tourism business or lobbying the government to increase the number of female tour leaders, each contributes to a cultural shift in a patriarchal society,” she added.
Education for All was founded in 2007. It currently supports 192 girls across five boarding houses. There, they have access to books and computers, and receive three meals a day.
To date, the Intrepid Foundation has raised just shy of $150,000 for the initiative, according to its website.
Intrepid’s Women’s Expedition pairs travellers with local women and aims to empower widowed or divorced women without an income stream to manage small tourism businesses, such as homestays or walking tours.
The expedition includes stays with Berber women, a visit to a female rug-weaving co-op, home cooking classes and opportunities to experience a hammam - or spa - with local women.
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