Flint Bishop’s Inspire & Ignite scheme provided support to BA (Hons) Business Management student Danielle Keeling to complete her Big Build Morocco dream for Childreach International.
Danielle Keeling, a third year BA (Hons) Business Management undergraduate student at the University of Derby has recently completed 11 days in Morocco, volunteering her time to help complete the building of a new school and community centre organised by Childreach International.
Childreach International is an organisation that aims to break down the barriers to children both in the UK and abroad to achieve their full potential. The Big Build projects are one way of achieving this aim – through the construction of schools in rural locations. The Big Build Morocco project that Danielle took part in was the construction of a new school/community centre in a rural Moroccan village, where the nearest school was not within a safe walking distance for young children.
Part of the Big Build Morocco challenge involved Danielle reaching a fundraising target of £1750, this was a contribution towards the materials needed to complete the construction of the school. Danielle was able to kick start her fundraising after delivering a winning pitch through Flint Bishop’s Inspire & Ignite scheme, this contribution helped her to achieve her first target deadline. The scheme was set up in partnership with the University of Derby back in 2012 with the sole aim of supporting students to achieve their goals.
After meeting her fundraising target, Danielle along with 13 other students from various UK universities flew out to Marrakech, where they were then met by 2 guides who escorted them to the remote village where the school was being built. They were dropped off on the nearest road 2 miles from the village and walked the rest of the way.
The group were greeted with open arms by all the locals including the children that would soon be able to attend the new school. Faced only with a basic structure, everyone got stuck in with a variety of tasks such as the Moroccan equivalents of; mixing concrete, plastering, sanding, painting and tiling, all with the help of local tradesmen. Many local families prepared traditional meals and Moroccan tea for the group throughout their time there, and they were even invited to attend a Moroccan wedding reception.
By the final day, other than the plumbing, all the building work for the school was finished and the village threw a celebratory party for the group to bid farewell.
Danielle has commented on her experience:
“I really wanted to do something that would; challenge myself, help me to stand out from other graduates, and do something that would have a positive impact on someone else’s life for years to come. The Big Build Morocco project was absolutely the perfect way to tick all of those boxes and more, and it’s hard to put into words how incredible this experience was. I made some great friends along the way and we are all planning to meet up in the UK over Christmas 2017, we have also been invited back by the locals to visit the school whenever we like which is an invite I will certainly be taking them up on one day. I was taken out of my comfort zone, and now that comfort zone has expanded significantly and I look forward to finding a new challenge. I would like to thank Flint Bishop and everyone else who contributed and supported me throughout the process.”
If you would like to receive more information on Inspire & Ignite scheme, please contact our Marketing team on 01332 226126