The Bernard Mejean Scholarship Fund for Girls' Education was created in his memory. Bernard was born and raised in Morocco and studied in the United States. He struggled against illness, and is remembered by his generosity and caring contributions to others. Bernard's brother, Bruno, began the fund for under privileged female youth in Morocco. It provides the resources for awareness-raising, transportation, supplies, and infrastructure to achieve girls' dream of participating in education.
Rural female youth in Morocco lack educational opportunities and the resources to complete secondary and high school. Economic pressures and sociocultural attitudes prevent young women from gaining basic education. The time-consuming burden of household chores, such as fetching clean drinking water, falls primarily on young females. In rural areas, schools are often far from home; and families do not have the economic resources to pay for transportation.
The program provides economic support to enable young females to pursue secondary and high school education. This fund contributes to the costs of school supplies and further course instruction, and alleviates the financial burden of travel far from the students' homes. In HAF's workshops with 2 communities with 17 girls who are 17 years old and younger, from January to March 2019, 3 girls returned to school and 1 remained who had intended to leave (representing 23.5% of girl participants).
Female education combats norms that minimize the role of girls and women in schools, the workplace, and communities. Many young females want to continue their studies but are not given the needed support. This Fund supports continuing their education and empowers future female leaders. HAF increased the number of female students at Aarabat secondary school in Rhamna from 42 to 56 in 2018, by building bathrooms (water at schools increases girls participation by 16%, according to the World Bank).