Wafaa Afkir is passionate about expanding educational opportunities in Morocco.
During college, she spent a year in Tangier working with a women’s center called Darna Association. It was there she discovered the severe lack of resources available for people — especially women — to further their education. She was inspired to create an initiative called “We for Them”, which supplies books for schools in the region.
“The dropout rates are high, so one of the projects we thought to remedy this issue was to implement classroom libraries, and to run reading sessions for the students,” explains Afkir.
Afkir recently participated in the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF), an exchange program run by the non-profit World Learning for young leaders across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to develop their leadership skills in the U.S.
During the LDF program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Afkir interned at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international development organization that provides assistance and support for elections in new and emerging democracies.
She says the internship allowed her to expand her horizons and was a good opportunity to learn more about elections and democracy.
Now back home, Afkir is expanding the “We for Them” program by bringing the project to more areas of the country and creating classroom libraries in more schools in need of educational resources.