Sale, Morocco – On the first floor of a villa just outside the Moroccan capital of Rabat, around 18 children are quietly working on their next piece of embroidery.
But there is something unique about this teaching centre in a country where youth unemployment is high.
Embroidery, according to this school’s founder Fadila el Gadi, is a Moroccan tradition that is rapidly fading. Also, the children spread across the room are either dropouts or have never been to school.
Growing up, Gadi had a special love for the art of embroidery. But after becoming a fashion designer, she realised she needed to act fast if she wanted to see more of that art.
“Opening a school that teaches embroidery was not only my dream but also a necessity given how this art is dying,” Gadi told Al Jazeera.
“This not only helps conserve the tradition but also gives these kids a hope for the future because, otherwise they had nothing to look forward to.”
In addition to embroidery, the children are also given French and English lessons and an IT professor helps them get more out of the technology available to help them improve their design skills.