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How it all began

How it all began

Towards new horizons!

Founders and motivation

The initiators and founders of campus vivant’e are Haddou Mouzoun and Stefanie Tapal-Mouzoun. Haddou Mouzoun is a Berber from the valley of Aït Bouguemez. He spent his childhood and school years here, attending the mountain guide school, which was then situated in the valley. Stefanie Tapal-Mouzoun (Itto, as she is called here) was born and raised in southern Germany, completing her studies in interior architecture there. Since 2005, the two of them have lived together with their five children in the heart of Aït Bouguemez. They participate actively in tribal life as well as in development projects in the valley, and are committed to promoting a sustainable way of life and the social concerns of the Berbers.

From very early on, the harsh reality of the local schools gave Stefanie-Itto and Haddou a desire to improve educational facilities in the valley:

A lack of pedagogical training for government-employed teachers and poor infrastructure often means that public schools only have very basic standards. Children with physical disabilities find no place in this school system and mostly receive no or insufficient schooling. The Moroccan curriculum is strongly based towards the needs of school children in the towns and cities. In rural areas like Aït Bouguemez, however, the way of life is completely different. Here, for example, a traditional Berber dialect is spoken - but from day one, all teaching is carried out in the schools in Arabic, the main national language.

Children in the countryside have no access to written language in their family and social everyday lives: the families live here in very simple and basic conditions, without books, paper, writing materials or other equipment. Many parents, especially mothers, are illiterate and only attended school themselves for a short time or in some cases not at all. Equal opportunities and good learning conditions are the epitome of a valuable, child-friendly and sustainable education. When such education is lacking, and with it the possibility of students developing into self-confident, competent and committed people, the outlook for an autonomous life and future in the home country will remain bleak. The implications are unemployment, emigration and frustration. The inspiration of the founder couple to improve this situation grew from this realisation.


The école vivante emerges – towards new horizons!

In a stroke of fate in 2007, Itto and Haddou accompanied the private Swiss school “Scuola Vivante Buchs” through the country as tour guides during a study-trip in Morocco. Great mutual friendship and close contact developed and the idea of an alternative educational opportunity for the children and young people in Aït Bouguemez was born, with the fundamental questions:

  • How can better learning conditions be created?
  • How can children be taught without coming into conflict with their traditional way of life?
  • How can they be prepared in a sensitive way for ever more rapidly changing living conditions and yet strengthen their traditional roots and their love for their homeland?
  • How can new opportunities be created and better, more global future prospects be provided?
  • How can an individual, creative, comprehensive education be made available, which opens up new horizons and promotes individual talents?


The opening of the école vivante in 2010 was the foundation for the educational campus. Since then, campus vivant’e has continued to develop.

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