Project Soar's mission is simple: to empower Moroccan adolescent girls to continue their education by providing after-school academic support, as well as life skills and leadership coaching. Project Soar works to keep girls in school and to prepare them for more productive, fulfilled futures.
Although education is obligatory in Morocco until age 16, socio-economic barriers often get in the way of making education equal and accessible for girls. Public schools in Morocco lack resources and still suffer from gender disparity. According to the World Bank, in 2012 the net enrollment rate in lower secondary school was 79% for boys in urban areas but only 26% for girls in rural areas. When girls drop out of school, they become vulnerable to early marriage and early motherhood. Of concern, the rate of girl marriages in Morocco is increasing, not decreasing.
The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) for 2030, is, "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." Investing in adolescent girls is seen as a prerequisite for achieving gender equality. The UN explains: "girls continue to suffer severe disadvantages, discrimination and exclusion.... For many girls, puberty marks an accelerating trajectory into inequality. It also represents a critical window for preventive and protective investments .... Ensuring that girls are able to exercise their rights, can pursue their education and have the skills and opportunity to join the workforce is essential for their own well-being, and a critical foundation for the health and prosperity of families, communities and nations."
Project Soar works to implement SDG5 from an educational perspective. We provide critical after-school programming intended to help adolescent girls (especially those in semi-rural and rural areas) to develop a strong sense of self and increase their chances of academic success. Project Soar activities are led by qualified instructors and comprise a range of activities. Academic support includes tutoring in key subjects, as well as high school entry exam preparation. The Project Soar headquarters offers a supportive and safe place for girls to do their homework during the week.
Additionally, Project Soar offers a wide range of non-academic activities aimed at empowering girls. Our athletics program introduces girls to a diverse set of sports, and our health classes cover an array of topics essential for adolescent girls. We also provide Project Soar girls with innovative period kits to help manage their menstruation. To spark creativity, we hold art classes throughout the year, and organize field trips to be expose girls to new ideas and experiences. Summers are devoted to a series of week long activities that build girls empowerment from different angles. All these activities combine to support the overall well-being of adolescent girls.
Only girls who stay in school can participate in Project Soar – every girl takes the Project Soar Pledge, affirming her commitment to do so.