Hind Ait Mout
Hind grew up in Morocco. She is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College.
How did you end up making the journey from Morocco to South Wales?
I come from a family that didn’t have much education. My dad was a caretaker and my parents never went to school. They can’t write their names. We grew up in a wealthy part of Morocco, working for wealthy people, but not having very much ourselves. My dad had to work so hard but his wages were so low. I didn’t ever think I’d get to study abroad, but then I saw UWC’s programme online. It appealed so strongly to me. I couldn’t believe it when I got accepted. I’m so grateful that Cogito have given me a scholarship.
How has a UK education helped you?
It’s amazingly different from Morocco. At home, we are pushed toward studying science subjects. Here, I have had the chance to study what I love. I like economics and world religion. My attitude has changed so much: I’ve learned different ways of thinking, I understand different points of view, I’ve explored new angles on certain issues – even though I may not feel the same way or agree with other people’s views. Still, I understand them and we all respect each other.
And that goes for outside the classroom, too?
Absolutely. Before I came here, I’d never spoke to an Israeli person, for example. I’d never heard about LGBT rights, let alone met anyone who might support them. It is incredible to meet Christians, Buddhists, Hindus – and people with no religion at all. And as a Muslim, I’ve enjoyed going to church services at the college. It opens your mind. I share a room with three people I had never met before coming here, who are all from different cultures and mindsets. I’ve never had that much freedom. I need to be responsible with it.
How would you like to use your education to help your homeland in the future?
My dream job would be in finance or journalism, and eventually I’d love to work back in Morocco. It is important to think about ways to help your own people, so I’m very thankful to Cogito for their help. I’m glad there are people who realise there is huge potential in the Middle East and North Africa, despite the conflicts and the political situations there. There are bright minds there who deserve an opportunity. Cogito is listening and helping us make a better life.
Please make a difference to the lives of teenagers like Hind today by giving what you can.