"After leaving school, I spent two years at home," said Bensbitia. "I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to be active."
Three years ago, she came across the gardening school, Bouregreg Med-O-Med, by sheer coincidence.
Launched by the Spain-based Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI) in 2018, the school is the first of its kind in Morocco.
"Before, I never imagined making gardening my job," said Bensbitia. "This training brought me a lot. I'm seeing the environment and the need to protect it in a different way."
Bensbitia says she feels "more in my element than anywhere else" at the school.
Bouregreg Med-O-Med aims to raise awareness about climate change while promoting the social inclusion of marginalised young people, particularly those affected by unemployment, as well as championing gender equality.
In October, it received the European Training Foundation's "Green Skills" award.
Unemployment and drought
Based in an eight-hectare field near an old landfill, the school promotes eco-responsible methods.
"The gardening model is entirely ecological," Ines Elexpuru, communications director at FUNCI, told AFP. "The building is bioclimatic, built with raw earth, and the electricity is solar."
The school has a nursery of local plants that are better adapted to water stress, which is crucial for Morocco as the country suffers its worst drought in almost 40 years.
The drought will get even worse, according to official forecasts, as rainfall is expected to drop by 11 percent while temperatures are projected to rise by 1.3 degrees Celsius (about 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) on average by 2050.
"Through this training, I realised that the life of a plant depends on our will to take care of it," said Mohssine Errahimi, an 18-year-old trainee. "Simple actions can make a difference."
Errahimi has been working as an apprentice gardener in hotels and for private employers since the age of 16. He joined the school with the encouragement of a former employer.
"After my training, I hope to start my own gardening business to help build my country," he said.
The professional integration of young Moroccans is key for the school, as they are often the hardest hit by economic difficulties.
Unemployment rates for those aged 15-24 reached 38.2 percent in the third quarter of 2023, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 13.5 percent, according to the kingdom's High Planning Commission.
In 2022, the commission found that more than one in four in the 15-24 age category were "not working, not in school or in any training".