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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

HRH Princess Lalla Asmae Inaugurates Lalla Asmae Center for Deaf Children in Tangier, Chairs End-Of-School-Year Ceremony

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Asmae, President of the Lalla Asmae Foundation for Deaf Children, inaugurated the Princess Lalla Asmae Center for Deaf Children in Tangier on Monday, before chairing the Foundation’s 2022-2023 end-of-school-year ceremony.

After unveiling the commemorative plaque, Her Royal Highness toured the facility’s various outbuildings and received explanations about the Center’s spaces and the services provided for deaf children.

Built on a covered area of 2,550 m2, the Center comprises 20 classrooms, four workshops dedicated to sewing, hairdressing, pastry-making and computing, five offices, a refectory and a sports field. In addition, there are several other outbuildings that will complement the Center’s activities.

HRH Princess Lalla Asmae then visited the various stands set up by the Foundation’s partners: 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.

“Much more than just a building, this Center reflects our shared vision of inclusion and equal opportunity. It symbolizes our determination to break down communication barriers and open up new prospects for people affected by deafness,” stressed Karim Essakalli, coordinator of the Lalla Asmae Foundation for deaf children and young people, speaking at the ceremony.

“Thanks to its modern facilities, innovative educational programs and the dedication of our team, we are convinced that the Princess Lalla Asmae Center in Tangier will become a beacon of hope and transformation in the region”, he said, noting that the ceremony was attended by several distinguished guests, as well as the Foundation’s valued partners, who have always demonstrated their unwavering support for the Foundation.

The official pointed out that the construction of this Center required a total investment of 15 million dirhams (MDH), excluding the cost of the land, noting that this exceptional Center was made available to the Foundation of His Royal Highness, by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity.

He added that the Centre’s facilities were made possible thanks to the commitment and collaboration of 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.

Her Royal Highness then followed presentations by the Director of the Lalla Asmae Foundation, Mr. El Abbes Bouhlal, and the Dean of the Rabat Faculty of Sciences, Mohamed Erragragui, highlighting the academic achievements and accomplishments of students at the Princess Lalla Asmae Centers and the Rabat Faculty of Sciences respectively.

Subsequently, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae presented the Awards of Excellence to the 2022/2023 academic year majors, having obtained their Baccalauréat, Licence and Master’s degrees.

The winners were El Oufir Asmae and Jbara Zineb, who graduated with an average grade of 15.97 and 15.93 respectively, and Meryem Amrani, who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, and Badr Lasfar, who graduated with a Master’s degree.

The Director General of the National Social Security Fund (CNSS), Hassan Boubrik, then presented His Royal Highness with an initial assessment of the fruitful collaboration between the Foundation and the CNSS.

On this occasion, His Royal Highness presided over the signing ceremony of an agreement relating to the “Awrach” program and a partnership agreement between the Foundation and the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication.

The first agreement, signed between the Foundation, the Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, and the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills (ANAPEC), aims to offer a paid pre-employment opportunity to deaf trainees undergoing vocational training at the Tangier Center.

This initiative will enable trainees to benefit from concrete work experience while continuing their training.

The second agreement provides for financial support of 2 million dirhams granted by the Ministry to the Foundation, aimed at supporting projects linked to communication, youth and culture.

In addition, and following the example of Casablanca, the Wilaya of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region has made available to the Foundation premises for the creation of a Hearing Rehabilitation Centre, which will be responsible for welcoming children from the region diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing during neonatal screening for deafness.

Particular emphasis was placed on the vital importance of the collaboration between the Lalla Asmae Foundation, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and ANAM, which aims to strengthen the Foundation’s ability to support deaf and hard-of-hearing people more effectively.

Thanks to this collaboration, a protocol for the care of the deaf was put in place and presented to His Royal Highness by the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb.

At the same time, His Royal Highness presided over the launch of a major awareness campaign, dubbed the “White Ear”, aimed at giving a voice to those who are often invisible in society.

The campaign takes the form of the free distribution of symbolic white ear pins, specially designed to be pinned on the clothing of hearing-impaired and deaf people.

These pins are a discreet but powerful way of communicating a clear message: “I’m hard of hearing, please speak to me a little louder, looking at me, articulating and without hiding your mouth”, noted Mr Essakalli, stressing that these badges have a deep meaning and act as a constant reminder of the daily reality of hard of hearing people, while encouraging others to adopt adapted communication behaviors.

“By proudly wearing these pins, hearing-impaired people express their desire for mutual understanding and respect”, he noted, adding that “to accompany this campaign, we are also planning a television broadcast of an awareness-raising spot, featuring several committed Moroccan celebrities”.

At the end of the ceremony, Her Royal Highness posed for a souvenir photo with the winning pupils and students of the Baccalauréat, Licence and Master’s classes for the year 2022-2023.

On her arrival, HRH Princess Lalla Asmae reviewed a section of the Auxiliary Forces who were performing the honors, before being greeted by the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports, Chakib Benmoussa, the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohammed Mehdi Bensaïd, the Director General of ICESCO, Salim Bin Mohammed Al Malik, and other personalities.

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