Princess Lalla Asmae inaugurates center for deaf children in Tangier, chairs end-of-school-year ceremony
The Princess Lalla Asmae Center for Deaf Children was opened in Tangier on Monday by Princess Lalla Asmae, president of the Lalla Asmae Foundation for Deaf Children, who also presided over the Foundation’s 2022–2023 end-of-year event.
Her Royal Highness toured the facility’s many outbuildings after the commemorative plaque was unveiled and was given information about the Center’s areas and the services offered for deaf youngsters.
The Center, which is located on a 2,550 m2 covered space, has 20 classrooms, four workshops for sewing, hairdressing, pastry making, and computing, five offices, a refectory, and a sports field. There are also a few other outbuildings that will supplement the Center’s operations.
Then HRH Princess Lalla Asmae went to the many booths set up by the Foundation’s associates, including the White Ear Space, the Rabat Faculty of Science Space, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection’s Deafness Protocol Space, the National Health Insurance Agency (ANAM) Space, and the USAID Space.
This Center, which is much more than just a structure, embodies our common vision of inclusivity and fair opportunity. Speaking during the occasion was Karim Essakalli, coordinator of the Lalla Asmae Foundation for deaf children and young adults. “It symbolizes our determination to break down communication barriers and open up new prospects for people affected by deafness,” he insisted.
The Princess Lalla Asmae Center in Tangier, he said, “will become a beacon of hope and transformation in the region thanks to its modern facilities, innovative educational programs, and the dedication of our team”. He also noted that the ceremony was attended by a number of distinguished guests as well as the Foundation’s valued partners, who have consistently shown their unwavering support for the Foundation.
The official noted that the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity made this remarkable Center available to the Foundation of His Royal Highness, stressing that the development of this Center needed a total investment of 15 million dirhams (MDH), excluding the cost of the land.
The Regional Academy for Education and Training (AREF), the Office for Professional Training and Work Promotion (OFPPT), and the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, he said, contributed significantly to the Center’s facilities via their dedication and cooperation.
Her Royal Highness then heard speeches from the Lalla Asmae Foundation’s director, Mr. El Abbes Bouhlal, and the dean of the faculty of sciences in Rabat, Mohamed Erragragui, outlining the academic successes and accomplishments of students at the Princess Lalla Asmae Centers and the faculty of sciences in Rabat, respectively.
After the recipients of the 2022–2023 academic year majors’ Baccalauréat, Licence, and Master’s degrees had been announced, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae gave them their Awards of Excellence.
The winners were Meryem Amrani, who received a Bachelor’s degree, and Badr Lasfar, who received a Master’s degree. El Oufir Asmae and Jbara Zineb also received awards. They graduated with average grades of 15.97 and 15.93, respectively.
The National Social Security Fund’s (CNSS) Director General, Hassan Boubrik, then gave His Royal Highness a preliminary evaluation of the successful partnership between the Foundation and the CNSS.
The “Awrach” program agreement and the collaboration agreement between the Foundation and the Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication were both signed under His Royal Highness’s watch.
The Foundation, the Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, and the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC) signed the first agreement, which aims to provide deaf trainees enrolled in the Tangier Center’s vocational training with a paid pre-employment opportunity.
Through this project, trainees will be able to gain practical work experience while still pursuing their education.
The second agreement calls for the Ministry to award the Foundation 2 million dirhams in funding to promote initiatives related to communication, youth, and culture.
The Wilaya of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region has also made space available to the Foundation for the construction of a Hearing Rehabilitation Center, following the lead of Casablanca. This facility will be in charge of receiving children from the area who were identified as deaf or hard of hearing during neonatal screening for deafness.
The collaboration between the Lalla Asmae Foundation, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, and ANAM, which aims to increase the Foundation’s capacity to serve deaf and hard-of-hearing persons more successfully, was emphasized as being of utmost importance.
The Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb, was able to establish a protocol for the treatment of the deaf as a result of this partnership and deliver it to His Royal Highness.
The “White Ear” initiative, which aims to give a voice to individuals who are frequently marginalized in society, was launched at the same time under the auspices of His Royal Highness.
The initiative involves the free distribution of white symbolic ear pins that are intended to be put on the clothing of deaf and hearing-impaired people.
These pins are a subtle but effective way to convey the message, “I’m hard of hearing, please speak to me a little louder, looking at me, articulating and without hiding your mouth,” said Mr. Essakalli. He added that these badges have a deep meaning and serve as a constant reminder of the daily struggles faced by hard of hearing people while also inspiring others to adopt adapted communication techniques.
He stated that “hearing-impaired people proudly wear these pins to express their desire for mutual understanding and respect,” and he continued, “to accompany this campaign, we are also planning a television broadcast of an awareness-raising spot, featuring several committed Moroccan celebrities.”
Her Royal Highness posed for a portrait with the winners and attendees of the Baccalauréat, Licence, and Master’s classes for the academic year 2022–2023 at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Prior to being welcomed by Chakib Benmoussa, the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports; Khalid Ait Taleb, the Minister of Health and Social Protection; Mohammed Mehdi Bensad, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication; Salim Bin Mohammed Al Malik, the Director General of ICESCO; and others, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae reviewed a section of the Auxiliary Forces performing the honors.