REEP is delighted to announce the launch of a new scholarship between Morocco and England, this time including Spain. Three young people, one from each country, will visit the three kingdoms over a period of 9 months to explore the differences and links in their horticulture and landscape histories. They will also work together with a local school or college to create a Shore to Shore garden in one of the three countries to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. In the 17th century, these three countries were at war. Today they are gardening. This Scholarship is in the tradition of the Martin McLaren Memorial Scholarships and is in association with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in London and an eminent Spanish partner.
Sarah Morris, a textile student from Cardiff Metropolitan University, was chosen as a REEP Scholar to take part in the design of the Sensory Garden at OAPAM School for the Blind in Marrakesh as part of last month's Shore to Shore Festival.
As well as providing lots of colourful ideas for the garden, Sarah was interested in many other parts of the event, especially the music. In fact it inspired her to write her own song and video.
Join her at
and see her take on the gardens at Cadi Ayyed and OAPAM, El Jadida College, the opening parade in Essaouira and other recreations of the atmosphere of the project.
REEP is delighted to announce that three young National Trust gardeners will be joining us in Morocco for Shore to Shore 2014: Deanne Lewis, from Montacute House in Somerset, Rhiannon Harris, from Chartwell in Kent, and Robert Wiskin, from Blickling Hall in Norfolk.
They will be spending time with us in March and April to complete the three gardens we have planned for this year. REEP would like to thank The Martin McLaren Memorial Trust for providing bursaries for the young gardeners to take part, and Mike Calnan, Head of Parks and Gardens at the National Trust, for his help in the selection process.
During a meeting in Essaouira last week, Monsieur Andre Azoulay, native of Essaouira, champion of interfaith relations and counsellor to His Majesty King Mohammed VI, welcomed the Shore to Shore project and has very kindly agreed to become its first Patron.
Most of February and March were taken up with the latest edition of our Moroccan project. For a taste of a new way to 'Contemplate - Co-operate - Create', see the special SHORE TO SHORE edition of REEP's newsletter. REEP Newsletter Spring 2012
One month in, and REEP has started the year on a high note. First, there is our brand new website which has inspired us to review our past work and bring everything up to date – always a cathartic experience, just like pruning and other winter gardening activities. Signs of spring are emerging even as we enjoy the chance for reflection that winter brings. Thanks to Neon Forest for their design ideas and cheerful forbearance as we get this mass of material in order.
In the coming year we shall be producing a feature based on last year’s Poetry Awards, working with young Muslim volunteer group MADE at the East London Mosque as they build a garden, developing our puppet work ‘Dreaming with Roo’ and the butterflies with Hands Up puppets (congratulations on your BAFTA for Bookaboo, Marcus!) and creating multi-sensory, multi-cultural, two-faith events with our Shore to Shore Moroccan project. That’s just a small outline of our latest activity. (Thank you to everyone who works so hard for so little material reward. Maybe this year we’ll have time for fundraising!)
This year we shall be celebrating February half term with some workshop events in London. These will be about food (related to the cycle of feasts and fasts in Tudor England), dance (tudor and Sufi dancing), music and drama, together with a Sufi mediation session. All this is in collaboration with Renaissance music group Passamezzo. In March, REEP will be taking Passamezzo and others (17th century costumes and all) to Marrakesh and Essaouira to hold workshops and presentations there as a next stage in Shore to Shore. We shall be joined by international photographer Terry Morris, whose ‘Street Lives’ project for us will involve young people in both countries with cameras documenting their lives, including their faith and environment.
We are also hoping to develop links with schools in Morocco which will enable friendships via the internet. This is often something which needs to rise from very small beginnings, not least because of language problems. But we find that gardening, music and like activities provide possibilities for communications beyond simple words.
And finally… How’s this for the best ever endorsement of our music projects, heard on the radio a while ago: ‘Music is the most direct way to the amaglyda’. Amen to that.