Rabat, Morocco- The Association of Women for Rural Development is joining hands with the the US Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Al Akhawayn Hilary Clinton Center for Women’s Empowerment at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, to launch a one-year project that aims to empower Moroccan women of the Atlas.
The kick-off event of the project will take place on November 27th.
The event will bring together 100 beneficiaries from rural and small urban communes of the Middle Atlas region who will participate in a one-year project for economic growth and sustainable development.
The program beneficiaries were selected among active cooperatives in marginalized areas of the Middle Atlas such as: Imouzzer Kander, Adghagh AinMarsa, Ifrane, Azrou and El Hajeb.
Empowering Women in the Atlas aims to promote the leadership of rural women by taking concrete measures towards their integration in the country’s economic growth and sustainable development. The project includes workshops and interactive training sessions as well as a full support in the creation and the optimization of cooperatives, through the provision of equipment, seed funds, and the access to markets for commercialization purposes.
The objective of this kick-off event is to inform the project beneficiaries about the spirit, scope, and objectives of the EWA project, to create networking opportunities for selected women, and give them the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops on the topic of personal development. In addition to the project beneficiaries, the event will bring together key stakeholders in the region and other partners of the initiative such as the Al Akhawayn University Hilary Clinton Center for Women’s Empowerment, Greenside Development Foundation, representatives of the National Development Initiative from the Ifrane, Sefrou and El Hajeb provinces, Al Akhawayn Executive Education and Regional Development Center as well as key representatives from the US Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Al Akhawayn University.
Lamia Bazir, the founder of the innitiative, said in a communiqué, “We are excited to announce the launch of our one-year project for 100 rural women entrepreneurs in the Middle Atlas region in collaboration with the US Middle East Partnership Initiative. This project is very timely: As we are closing COP 22, this project invests in rural women leaders and entrepreneurs by training them in entrepreneurship, environmental awareness, and financial autonomy and helping them optimize their income generating projects. This program does not only assert the role of rural women in sustainable development; it also takes concrete measures to provide them with the knowledge and tools to undertake this role successfully”.
It is worth noting that the Founder of EWA Lamia Bazir had already launched an exchange program in the region in April 2016, enabling youth from the Middle Atlas mountains to travel abroad for the first time and get a training in solar energy in Norway.