“I would like to give back to the Foundation everything it has given me over the past few years.” The appreciation was visible in the eyes of the hundred or so Excellence Scholarship beneficiaries, as it was in Mohamed’s eyes, who were present on September 8 at the Palais des Congrès de Laâyoune.
“I would like to give back to the Foundation everything it has given me over the past few years.” The appreciation was visible in the eyes of the hundred or so Excellence Scholarship beneficiaries, as it was in Mohamed’s eyes, who were present on September 8 at the Palais des Congrès de Laâyoune during the Phosboucraa Foundation’s annual meeting. Originally from Laayoune, this senior physician at a dental clinic joined the program in 2014 through the Foundation Marocaine de l’Étudiant, a partner of the initiative.
He was delighted about “having been given this chance.” A chance that “totally changed my life,” added Ayoub, now an engineer in charge of research for a firm in Casablanca. He added that: “The Foundation doesn’t just help us financially. Each recipient has access to competitions from leading French and international schools, a mentoring program, and linguistic support and tutoring.”
Hajbouha Zoubeir, President of the Phosboucraa Foundation, told the audience: “Today, we witnessed the fruit of all the Phosboucraa Foundation’s hard work. The 2017 and 2018 cohorts were the first to have scholarship recipients be accepted for a double degree at the École Polytechnique de l’Université Paris-Saclay.” She proudly added that “the top ranked recipient in the Concours National Commun for physical and engineering sciences was a woman!”
“A choice that came from the heart”
Despite other opportunities being open to them, many graduates aspire to return to their region after graduating. This was the case for twenty-four-year-old Farah, a local media celebrity who works for Laayoune TV, after studying journalism at a prestigious school in Casablanca. “I absolutely wanted to get closer to my family and my roots. I didn’t hesitate, despite good job offers in Casablanca. It was a choice that came from the heart,” she says.
The same is true of Mohamed, our senior physician, who also moved closer to his native region by settling in Boujdour. “I took some time to reflect after graduating and decided to get closer to my family. I can see them every weekend, as I am only a two-hour drive from Laayoune.” Mohamed’s ultimate goal, however, is to open his own practice in his city. “I first have to gain experience in specialized clinics, especially in Casablanca,” he explains. To help him in this project, he knows that he can count on “his mentor, a renowned dentist, and the Phosboucraa Foundation.” After five years of studies, progress, and learning, Mohamed says he’s also ready “to join the mentor program and support future beneficiaries so that they too can contribute to the development of Southern Morocco.” This virtuous circle demonstrates the legitimacy and strength of the Phosboucraa Foundation’s program.
Engineering, the program’s top field
The most popular field among students in the program is engineering, accounting for 75% of scholarships. “Many of us aspire to become engineers because there are many prospects both in Morocco and abroad,” explains Ayoub, who found his first job only a week after graduating.
The Excellence Scholarships Program in numbers
• 157 beneficiaries;
• 75% of beneficiaries are hired by renowned public institutions;
• More than 60% are women;
• The program will continue until 2022;
• Five merit scholarships awarded to medical students.