FONDATION BANQUE POPULAIRE
Invested with the values of Sharing, Closeness, and Solidarity, in 1984, Groupe Banque Populaire set up the Fondation Banque Populaire (FBP), which, since that date, has embodied its early vision of social and environmental responsibility.
FBP is the oldest foundation given over to the exercise of citizenship by a Moroccan bank, and it is also one of the first NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) to be recognised as being of public utility.
Initially focused on education, but open to its environment and observing the constant cultural movement of our society, the FBP has ceaselessly broadened its purpose and, for over 35 years, it has distinguished itself by initiating actions and by supporting ambitious local and national development strategies that come together in ideal fashion to serve the sustainable development of our country.
Education as a project involving genesis and continuity
The Fondation Banque Populaire came into being to fulfil the purpose of a banking institution mindful about placing individuals at the heart of its concerns. It has come to satisfy the wishes of a customer segment, Non-Resident Moroccans (NRMs), who want to provide their children with an education rooted in Moroccan identity, values, and reality. That led to the setting up of the school in Agadir, followed by the one in Tangier; today, they represent models of success and excellence in their respective regions.
As part of an integrated vision, the FBP works to encourage the development of the educational system across Moroccan territory, as well as in favour of excellence in teaching.
To improve schooling conditions in the rural world and the fight against dropping out of school, the FBP has given and continues to give its support to initiatives taken by associations and NGOs that work in that field, such as the Développement Intégré des Douars (Integrated Development of Douars (Encampments)) programme, which the Fondation Zakoura has carried out since 2008. That programme has enabled four houses to be built in a rural setting (the regions of Azilal, Taroudant, Bouarfa, and Doukkala), and it also deals with rolling out training for populations, ranging from pre-school to the fight against dropping out of school, non-formal learning, literacy, and reinsertion through vocational training.
Since 2014, with its “Une succursale Banque Populaire, une école enclavée mise à niveau” (“One Banque Populaire branch, one landlocked school upgraded”) programme, the FBP has worked to improving schooling conditions for students and working conditions for teachers in the rural world. It renovates the infrastructures of landlocked schools for the wellbeing of students and the teaching body.
In the same spirit of rural development and closeness advocated by the Group, the FBP has initiated an innovative action, “Kan Ya Makan” (“Once Upon A Time”), which consists of distributing books and stories to students in landlocked schools through the Group’s Souk Banks. The latter are Banque Populaire’s own mobile banks, designed to bring the bank close to all citizens, wherever they may be, crisscrossing the markets of landlocked areas. Thanks to the “Kan Ya Makan” operation, those mobile banks or “Souk Banks”, after carrying out their financial and commercial mission, are transformed into mobile libraries to liven up schools along their journeys and introduce their students to the pleasures of reading.
Also by way of a contribution to the fight against dropping out of school and to improving the living and hygiene conditions of students who are boarders at Dar Talib and Taliba, the FBP has, since 2018, fitted out those structures with solar-powered water heaters.
As regards excellence in teaching, the FBP continues to support the Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles (CPGE – Preparatory Classes for Grandes Ecoles (Non-University Tertiary-Education Institutions)) in order to strengthen their abilities and offer them equality of opportunity. After having provided students with yearbooks for years, it carried out a programme to provide the country’s 25 CPGE centres with connectivity and Wi-Fi™, as well as providing laboratories with teaching materials. That has had a positive effect on those students’ access to engineering grandes écoles nationally and internationally.
In the same way, the FBP supports students, grande école students, and higher-education institutions in work that is able to develop intellectual, personal, and entrepreneurial skills in students, such as its unwavering support for the “Ma these en 180 secondes” (“My three-minute thesis”) international competition.
Culture as a vector of development
Cultural activity is a priority intervention strand for the Foundation, given the burgeoning number of festivals and events held in all the regions of Morocco. The Foundation is aware that those events are a celebration of our cultural wealth, so it ensures coverage of national and international cultural and artistic actions alike, whilst paying particular attention to those that are regional in scope.
Guided by the Group’s values of closeness and solidarity, the Foundation is present across the whole of national territory, from the Fès Festival of world Sacred Music to presentations by Ahwach troupes in Meknès, celebrating Raï music in Oriental Region, Taktouka Jabalia in the Tangier area, Hassani arts and poems from the Moroccan desert, and Andalusian music evenings in various cities across Morocco.
In addition to preserving the artistic diversity of a plural Morocco, the Foundation also positions itself as a major sponsor of theatre and film. Thus, over the years, it has boosted its positioning in those areas by supporting several events, such as the Festival of Art, Theatre, and Culture, the International Festival of University Culture, the Tétouan International Mediterranean Film Festival, the Nador international Festival of Cinema and Common Memory, the Khouribga Internal African Film Festival, the Salé International Women’s Film Festival, and the Marrakech International Film Festival.
The Foundation’s interventions cover the various aspects of the culture of each Moroccan region and beyond Morocco’s borders, to promote Moroccan culture and identity to the community and to the Moroccan diaspora living abroad.
Heritage, a symbol of Moroccan identity
As a pioneer player in preserving Morocco’s tangible and intangible heritage, in 1995, the Foundation acquired a heritage item of great richness: the iconographic collection of the famous photographer Marcelin Flandrin. The collection contains over 40 000 photographic plates, and is exceptional from a historical point of view, for it not only shows scenes from daily life in Morocco during the entire first half of the 20th century; it also shows the development of Casablanca, a small port attached to a medina transformed into a modern metropolis.
The photographic library is greater sought after by researchers from various areas, and it is used to build and reinforce the scientific content of historical research by national and international universities.
The FBP‘s involvement in preserving Morocco’s historical heritage also extended to the restoration of fountains in the Imperial Cities, the Oudaya Gallery, the building of the Museum of the High Atlas, etc.
In addition, through its support for the Festival of Nomads, the Tan-Tan Moussem, the Cherry Festival, and the Horse Show, the Foundation has boosted its positioning and its dedication to the traditions and identity of a plural Morocco.
Preserving the environment is a guarantee of a better future
The Fondation Banque Populaire has taken on the mission of being an active player in protecting and preserving the environment. To that end, since 2001, the Foundation has made the efforts needed to protect the Moroccan coastline through the “Plages Propres” (“Clean Beaches”) programme. Building on its partnership with the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, the Fondation Banque Populaire plays an active role in various programmes and actions relating to raising awareness and to providing education about preserving the environment.
The Fondation Banque Populaire’s efforts in the field of preserving the Moroccan coastline have borne fruit through two beaches receiving and retaining the “Pavillon Bleu” (“Blue Flag”) label: Haouzia, on the Atlantic coast, and Arekmane, on the Mediterranean Sea. Each summer season, the Foundation deploys human, logistical, and financial means to ensure that the “Plages Propres” operation is carried out properly.