During our more than two-decade connection with Morocco, we have personally experienced the extreme poverty certain areas of this country face. Over the years, as professional architects , we have observed firsthand the challenges that arise when carrying out construction, renovation and remedial work.
The mountain ranges and the Moroccan climate are factors that hinder the viability of sustainable projects and an affordable budget to carry them out is another ongoing obstacle as they demand a special kind of management. A management, however, that is not overly complex that would require the use of materials and structures of difficult accessibility to its people. Such management should also be able to adjust to the more favourable periods of the year for carrying out construction work.
In Ameskar, for example, a small village situated in the Atlas Mountains , the villagers' difficulties first start with finding food. Steps need to be planned such as the acquisition of material and its transportation, the planning and carrying out of the actual construction work during certain months of the year, as well as the logical continuation and progression of all normal construction activities.In the Atlas Mountains this is not always logical, let alone normal.
In these circumstances, one of the buildings that is in most urgent need of refurbishment and rehabilitation is the Ameskar School . The children and young people who attend this school are between the ages of 5 and 16 and have to endure extreme temperatures in both summer and winter, not to mention hurricanes and storms which turn into catastrophes each year with deadly consequences.
It is not possible to consider humanitarian aid as charity but rather as a way to develop professionally. Whatever the challenge, whatever the space we encounter, it is a question of knowing, understanding and respecting local codes and devising effective and respectful strategies. It is about providing the basics and stability and also quality and warmth because the building itself contributes a great deal to the education of the individual and their way of life.
A public space as a philosophical concept is of vital importance to the Arab community. Understanding it, respecting it and considering it as a fundamental element, contributes to a truly beneficial project. The goal for 2015: the refurbishment of the Ameskar School. We are on it.