Dear Fellow ABOTA Members:
You have an opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of young women. We know that is true because it happened before. Please read the remainder of this letter and view the photos below.
Between May 2012 and October 2016, ABOTA did amazing things for the children in the Berber villages in the high Atlas Mountains 50 miles outside of Marrakech, Morocco. You donated over $200,000, built a new water system, and rebuilt the schools in the villages of Tagenchoute and Tougramane. Then in 2015, ABOTA partnered with the International Academy of Trial Lawyers to raise nearly a quarter of a million dollars to build a dormitory for girls in Amizmiz, closer to Marrakech, where the smartest young girls from nine mountain villages could attend secondary school and go on to one of the universities. Carrousel Travel has been a constant partner in these projects. Prior to our project, the girls in the village schools had no way to go to school beyond sixth grade because of the distance, poverty, and cultural issues.
All three projects have been a grand success – built efficiently, well supervised, and maintained. ABOTA members are treated as heroes in the villages, with your donor names and pictures on the classroom and dormitory walls, and the girls in Amizmiz are getting the secondary and college educations never thought possible. Many ABOTA and IATL members have said that it has been the best project either organization has ever done.
Then, on September 8, 2023, disaster struck when a once-in-a-century earthquake destroyed villages and severely damaged the dormitory and the schools. Over 2,900 people were killed and over 5,000 were injured. Fortunately, all three projects are repairable, and we have set out to get the work done as quickly as possible before winter sets in. Since the earthquake, the girls in Amizmiz have been living in tents. Jad Trari from S’Tours in Marrakech, Carrousel’s local partner, has agreed to supervise the reconstruction projects as he did successfully before. IATL has taken on the fundraising for the girls’ dormitory and ABOTA has taken on the fundraising for the village schools. Our goal is to raise $55,000 to rebuild one destroyed classroom at the Tagenchoute school and make generally needed repairs throughout both schools.
Because of the past generosity of ABOTA members, these kids have had two safe and clean grade schools and the teenage girls have had a chance to get an education they could only have dreamed of in the past. We are asking you once again to generously help restore these great ABOTA projects. The linked pictures show the great work ABOTA made possible. View the damage to the girls dormitory in Amizmiz, Morocco.
Inga and Mick Callahan and Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull have each pledged $2,500 to help restore these projects. Please confirm that you will help with a gift of $500 or more, but any amount would be gratefully received. You will receive a letter acknowledging your contribution.
To those of you original donors who have made a recent donation, many thanks for your generosity. We have received donations amounting to 25% of our goal to date.
To donate now, make your check payable to:
The Callahan Law Firm Trust Account
P.O. Box 150
St. Petersburg, Florida 33731
Please note “Berber Schools Repair Project” on your gift.
Steven W. Quattlebaum, 2023 ABOTA President
Michael T. Callahan, 2013 ABOTA President