Team facilitators : Mr Nour-eddine Laouni:
Miss Israe Zizaoui
Team members : Loubna Jaoui, Maryam Adnane, Naoufel Aghbal, Elmahdi
Bouhjiti, Imane Elkhadir, Sofia Souaidi, Hala soufiani, Nada Bijri, Karam Eloirdi,
Oumayma Benabbou, Khaoula Bensghir, Lamyae Chekkar, Ghorfi Abdelhamid,
Amine Loukili, Youssef Lamzouri. ( Reference High School / Meknes)
« Directed by our hope to make a change in the society, and
convinced that nothing worth more than a smile on a child
face we decided that our project will focus on “the special
needs kids” who were in the “ Ismailia Center for the kids
with special needs” ... »
Our project has been planned into three visits :
First visit :
Objectives : Introduce ourselves.
Discover the place.
Have a global idea about the association .
Second visit :
Objectives : Make a diagnosis, know the problems that the teachers have
to face in their job, their formation , have information about
Third visit :
Objectives : Organize a party in the association .
First visit :January 25th 2008
Participants: The team members and team facilitator
Location: Ismailia association of special needs kids
We visited for the first time the Ismaïlia Center for Special Needs people, on Friday
25th January 2008. In order to clear the first step in our community service project,
which deal with the special need children. With the great expects to finally land a
helping hand, and hoping to make a change in our society, we entered the center after
introducing ourselves in front of the camera. We were welcomed by the manager, an
elderly but experienced woman, who insisted on some conditions for the welfare of her
students.She gave us some advices concerning behaving with the kids, such as « Don’t
take the children for objects ! »…- a very obvious idea we were conscious about before-.
We were divided into four small teams: The interviewer team (administration),
the interviewer team (kids), the technical team and another team which had to discover
The administration interview:
As we were already divided in three small teams, the administration interviewers‟ team,
stayed with the director, as well as some members of the technical team. She agreed kindly to
answer our questions.
Interviewers: First of all, we wanted to thank you for lending us some of your time.
Director: You‟re welcome. It‟s a pleasure for me to do so.
I: Would you mind telling us the date of the center‟s creation?
D: Well the association was founded in 1991, and has 957 members. It was first dedicated to
those who have physical handicap, but now we accept all both mental and physical handicaps.
I: How many children do you host?
D: First, you must know that we are working as a school. We don‟t have dormitories, so
children come at 9:00 in the morning and leave at 4:30. About 72 persons follow our lessons,
from 2 to 24 years old.
I: So you accept babies?
D: Yes, we have a kindergarten.
I: What about the staff working in the center?
D: About 30 people are working in the center, seven are volunteering, but the others expect to
be remunerated. The problem is, we cannot afford to pay them more than 600 Dhs/month,
which is a very low salary.
I: Speaking about material needs, where do you bring your funds from?
D: This is, I may say, the biggest problem we face. Parents don‟t give much, because some
are living hard material situations. The ministry gives us 40 000 Dhs/ year, but we still
haven‟t received anything from 2006. The regional council promised us 15 000 Dhs/year, but
until now they haven‟t kept their promise. The only means we got is the donations we receive
from benefactors and aid from international associations, or sometimes embassies. For
example, the Japanese embassy helped us to create the studio where we create prosthesis, and
the Emirate embassy gave the funds to rebuild this center.
I: What kind of activities do you propose to children?
D: We celebrate, from time to time, a child‟s birthday, and we circumcise over 900 children
per year. We also do special activities in Ramadan, and a music teacher comes every week to
teach music to children.
I: How do the teachers get qualified? What is the major they must follow?
D: This is another problem that we encounter. The special needs people education isn‟t
developed in Morocco. We have a young man, who is following this major in France, sending
advice. But you must be determined if you want to follow this path. It needs competence, will
I: Our last question: what, on your opinion, does this center lack?
D: We need creativity. We have the tools, but we lack ideas, we lack creativity.
I: Thank you very much for according us this interview.
While the interviewers team was with the director the others were
Some children were absents that day because of the vacation; however, there is 96 kids
enrolled in the center. And all were studying in their classrooms:
First class : Some children were playing games and doing some activities with the
help of their teacher.
Second class : Children were taking there lesson and their teacher taught them
different names of the parts of the body and after we helped them to do an activity
that made them understand their lesson in a funny way.
Third class : A smart student named Ismail presented to us the lesson and Ayoub
was a very good singer. In this class, there were 3 teachers and just one computer.
Fourth class : This class was for adults who were learning some handmaking things
with the help of their teacher, and one of them was a good CORAN‟s reader.
Fifth class : There were some materials to help people doing some physical
activities with the help of 2 nurses.
Sixth class: There were some games and special chairs for children who are less
than 5 years old to help them grow in a normal way and also teach the parents some
activities and stretches that they must do with their children even at home to reach
good results in a quick time.
There was also a kitchen, a class for music, a very small school yard that was used also as a
sport field, and a small space where the children have their lunch.
Sadly, we discovered that the center doesn‟t have a boarding school, so the parents are
obliged to come by the end of the day and take their children to their houses. And what makes
this boarding school necessary is the feeling of safety, tenderness and love in the center, that
they may lose when they are at home!
Moreover, the parents have to give their children what to eat, because the center
doesn‟t have a fixed amount of money to assure foods for the children every day.
Finally we went to the base room, where they build prostheses, where we found some
materials that were offered by Japan. The responsible of the materials explained to us his job
and some technics ,he also said that the quality of some Moroccan‟s materials is very bad and
they need to buy them from abroad, although it costs a lot of money.
To sum up, we spent good times with those children, and they really made us feel
that we’ve made something honourable: a smile was drawn on their faces; they let us
help them doing their exercises, drawing, even singing. Our hearts were REALLY
invaded by an extreme joy !! .
The first step in our community service project is done. Now, We see clearly our goal
comming near, but reaching it requires working hard.
“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.”
Second visit : february 13 , 2008.
Participants : the team members.
After the first visit, which allowed us to discover the place of the center and its contents,
knowing by far the children there and having an extern seen on what will we
accomplish, on Wednesday, february13, 2008 we visited for the second time the
ISMAILIA association for special needs kids.
The goal of this visit consists in knowing the problem that the teachers of the special
needs students face while doing their job, about their formation, feelings and emotions
that the special need child feel towards the world around him.
When we got there, the children’s interviewers team was divided into 3 groups , each
group was loaded to do a questionnaire concerning a specific class and a 4th one who
discuss with the director.
Summary of the discussion with the director :
The second visit had for object diagnostic of the center‟s needs toprepare the party.So it was
crucial to discusswith the administration what are the activities the center can‟t afford.
Actually , it was a diversity of activities: Theatre, dance, music, handicraft.
Every activity that allows creativity and cooperation was advised.
Also, some out door activities were planned like soccer and basketball ( respecting kids
On another hand, we suggested to collect some “things” which can be useful for both kids and
administration, but the director„s hopes were requiring a fortune. So we just promise what we
can really provide.
It‟s true that the final visit will come one day to finish the project steps, but our visits to the
center will prolong because making a real change is a long term goal.
The class’ visit :
The first class :
In the first classe there was 7 students who have almost the same well developed capacities
and abilities . The teacher was a very kind and active person, a young woman who received
us very well, talked with us oppenly and respond to our questions.The classroom baths in a
warm atmosphere, the children were friendly, full of life, energy and hapiness.
Here is the questionnaire :
Do you had a special formation in how to deal with special needs kids ?
Yes of course, I was in a teachers school and after that I got a special formation about special
needs kids for 3 months.
What are the reasons that make you choose working with special needs kids ?
First of all i love kids very much and i love teaching them. I came for the first time to the
association as a probationer, but when the probation ends I could not leave those children with
whom I established very strong links and share enjoyable moments. They become a part of
my life, and I feel that I‟m useful by giving to those lovely kids the chance to forget their
disability and live a normal life.
Do you inform the kids how to face the society and how to deal with normal
people who do not always treat special needs people very well ?
Yes, we sometimes organise some outdoor activities by taking them to the french cultural
center to watch movies and plays.We also go on trips to make them get out from their daily
routine and help them to be proud of themselves and do not feel rejected by the society.
We also had visits of other students who treat them very well and don‟t make them feel they
„re different . Also, we are obliged to behave with the kids normaly to make them feel
normal ; and all the staff provide the children love and tenderness because we are the shields
that protect them from outside‟s people‟s hurt.
What subjects do you teach them ?
All subjects : arabic, french, mathematics, workshops...etc
Is there a special program for the kids or you follow the same program as the
public schools ?
There is a special program for them and specific books brought by the association.
Do you have any problems in the education of the children ?
Of course, it‟s very difficult to deal with a special need kid and you have to know the situation
of each student.
Yassine : he is very clever but he forget every thing and he does not stop repeating
words, for example, if I give him something today after three days he won‟t remember it, and
he‟s a very good actor.
Sofia : she understands every lesson but she has a problem with writing she cannot
control her hands and we help her with some activities like grafics.
Moustapha : he is also one of my clever students but he has an handicapt in speaking, he
pronounce words difficultly, and he cannot move his feet very well.
The familly also has an important role, if the familly is open and more comprehensive, the
efforts provided by the personal of the center will give faster their results.
How many students do you have in class ? What are the criteria which you base
on to choose the apropriate class to each student ?
The best students of the association are in this class .They have a high degree of inteligence
and well developed skills in different domains .
First step the student goes to the manager and his teacher decid which class is more
appropriate to him, after that, the student pass a sort of test to see if he really deserves to be in
Each student has a field contaning all the information about his family,about the handicapts
that he has, the teacher‟s remarks about his behaviour with the other children, his marks in the
tests, his ability to communicate with others and finally the teacher has to write the results of
the student education and if there is no progress we have to notice it and specify the cause.
What is exactly the point of this education ?
At least the child can write, read, count and have a normal life and be independent.
What is so special about the association,do you have special activities ?
We have a lot of extra activities like music, sports, theater and workshops.
How many teachers are there in the association ?
We have 3 Teachers, and we are looking for others. Personally I don‟t need any help from an
other teacher but the others might need a co-worker to help them. But normally it might be 2
teachers in every class.
How much hours do you work a day ?
We work 6 hours a day, from 9h00 to 16h00, and we have a special schedule : from 9h to 12h
the children have their lessons, from 12h to 14h is the time for lunch, from 14h to 16h they
do some activities and physical exercises.
Do you have a common meal or every student has to bring his own ?
Children rarely bring their own meals especially when there isn‟t enough money to prepare a
common meal. Teachers and children eat in the same room, because some children cannot
use their hands so we have to feed them.
What do you think of the location of the association, is it a safe place ?
Yes, I‟ve been teaching here for 4 years and I‟ve never heard about an agression ,so I think
that this place is fairly safe.
Finally, we spent excellent moments with the kids who were lovely, very friendly and
played with us, especially Yassine who was a good actor and who presented to us some funny
improvised sketchs that made us explode with laughter
The second class :
We talked to the teacher to know what those children need, they abilities and problems, how
they are with them, if they need a special education.
She answered all our questions, we understood that those kids need a lot of things not just
material like money and clothes but they also need affection and help from every one.
The teachers are very helpful , they help all the kids and try to give them all what they want
After that we danced and sang with them, it was very enjoyable we listened to” Fnaire”(a
musical band) because they like a lot their songs , they danced with each other and we took a
lot of pictures with them.
The third class :
What do they study/what are the activities that they do?
For this class, the teacher has to deal with each student as a class depending on his
handicap, which means that she is compelled to explain the information many times with
different ways so as all of them understand .Students also forget what they learn which make
the repetition a necessity .For these reasons, the center focus on giving them what they need
in their daily life: like the name of days – the utility of the five senses (to get the information
about the world around) – how to control the language while speaking…. Similarly, they have
mathematics, reading, writing, drawing classes. It allows them to express themselves: for
example there was a girl who drew the entire characters whit red. Why? The reason was that
she assisted to the event of slaughtering the sheep in l'Aid Elkibir.
For the entertainment, they have music class and a special time to play whatever they like just
to let them break that feeling of having a handicap. Besides, they have games that let them use
their intellectual power as trying to combine puzzles.
Self-confidence is important for them: when the child recognizes objects/knows how to deal
with computer when he/she is out of the center, he/she feels that she/he belongs to the same
world as the others.
About the formation of the teachers:
Working with those children needs really a good formation, because of their situation of
course also to know how to react without hurting their feelings, how to let them understand
the information. For these causes, the teacher has first to learn from a psychologist doctorworking at the university- who come all the time to inform them about the new ways of
teaching *techniques/procedures*.The experience is boosted by the time, which means that
more she work more she learn the perfect ways, more the difficulties are less.
By the end of each day, the members of the center join the direction to talk about the new
difficulties that they had during working and try to find solution.
Concerning the health of the children, there are doctors who come permanently to analyze
their cases: to communicate with them they must be in a good health, or else they refuse doing
anything. This refusal is basically shown when there is a serious problem in their
family*misunderstand between the parent/violence/lack of love/less interest from the parent*.
Moreover, teachers must keep in touch with parents: the effort will not give any results if the
initiative is from one side, hence corporation is necessary indeed.
The center and the society:
The main goal that the center wants to reach is to allow the children to study in a public
school, either definitely or partially *the child will assist to some lessons in the subject he is
strong in with his special teacher*.
The center makes of them a citizen proud of being Moroccan, ready to work for it, to let it
more developed scientifically speaking, in domain of sports……
Feelings and emotions/ambitions:
It was hard to find the appropriate feeling just by talking to them, but clearly they
are happy if someone takes care of them (they are conscious about this act). The most of them
express his dissatisfaction about the national Moroccan team in the last African competition.
They said that they are ready to bring the cup to the nation that they love: morocco.
This revelation shows their love for their country and for the soccer. Some said that they are
interested in singing, dancing and reading Koran.
The second step of our community service is done . We have a clear idea of what
we can do for them :
We think that the appropriate thing that could be graved in their memory for goodwould be a party. It is a way to let them feel happier for even a period of time**half a
day**.It will be an opportunity for them to express freely themselves/do whatever they
like as a hobby/talent…etc. It was a fantastic experience.
Third visit:Wednesday, march26,2008
After two visits of discovering the association and making diagnosis we made the third one on
wednesday , march 26, 2008.
Especially for this visit we organized three activities:
we taught the kids how to create with very simple things. They made dolls withs bottles,
pieces of fabric , paper and thread.
we present a short play in two classes about the people‟s behaviour with the nature. The goal
consisted in sensitizing those kids about the importance of our forests, fields and water .the
group had succeeded to let a lot of morals pass. Things that helps in preserving the planet like
using water wisely,avoiding cutting flowers or walking on it for fun, polluting seas and
rivers,throwing garbage wherever.
In fact, the director had assisted to this show and gave us advises about how to deal with this
activity. Without her we wouldn't let them understand what we are saying even if we spoke
By the end of the show she expressed her satisfaction about the work done. The group leaved
the class congratulated.
Then we went to another class to present the same work. Students reacted well and showed a
sense of interest in the play.
party with music ,dance and snacks:
We assist to a choreography that the children prepared.
Two of the technical team sang a RAP songs.
Two others played music on their instruments(piano, darbouka).
At the end snacks.
The party lasted 3 hours (the workshops included). The first members arrived to the
association at 2:00 am , they helped in organizing the buffet . The others arrived a little bite
later, those specialized in workshops entered the classrooms and started their activities while
the technical team was organizing everything that has a relation with the sound,... .
Activities completed, the party began.
We spent an amazing, an enjoyable afternoon at the association . Everybody was laughing,
smiles was drawn on every one‟s faces. We were all dancing and singing together : the staff ,
the children , the teachers and the members of our team..
The music kept playing until the end of the visit. During this time, the snack took place.
Everybody enjoyed the food and drinks.
The kids thanked us- each one by its manner.
This will remain forever engraved in their minds , on ours also, there is no doubt.
We achieved the goal that we were reaching for: “We arrived to get them out of their
daily routine” even if it for half day but don’t we say:”little stroaks fell great oaks” and
it just the beginning.
We realized our goal. We end up with good memories and the most important we
cheered up the kids. We made their feelings better. We arrived to break those fences
The end of the party , we took a great family photo whith all the members of the