Remember my friend Nora in Marrakech? She helped me connect with an orphanage in Marrakech to bring mobiles and other baby goods to the little ones in need. In a lot of ways I feel like she and I were cut from the same cloth. I’ve been so blessed to have connected with her. I am overjoyed with her latest project and only wish that we lived in Marrakech full-time so that I could help her with the day to day operations of her latest project. Sadly, it’s not in the cards right now. So what is the new project?
UPDATE The Amal Center has been up and running for some time since this original post. If you’re in Marrakech and visiting go eat or take a cooking class! It’s one of our favorite Marrakech restaurants.
The Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant!
Nora goes into detail on how the center materialized in this blog post. But here’s the short of it;
“It isn’t particularly easy for anyone to get a job in Morocco. Many people don’t have access to a good primary and secondary education, and even those who do are entirely at the mercy of their test scores when it comes to pursuing higher education and careers. For women who are single mothers, illiterate, from poor families, never learned job skills because have been working as maids since age twelve, or any combination of the above, it’s even harder.
The goal of this nonprofit is to raise the quality of life for some of these women by giving them the tools they need to start supporting themselves. Ten to fifteen women will be in our pilot training program learning basic culinary know-how, traditional cooking methods, and classic Moroccan heritage recipes as well as some Western baking. Once these women have got the hang of it, they, in turn , can train other women for 3-month internships. Since many of them are illiterate, we will also hold Arabic classes, and for those who can already read Arabic we’ll provide beginning classes in either English or French. Overpopulation and poor public health education are also a big problem in Morocco, so alongside those classes will be basic women’s health education, a topic which is largely overlooked in this part of the world.
We have a beautiful space that we’re currently transforming into classrooms, training space, and a restaurant area, and by the time the remodeling is done in January we want to be able to bring the kitchen up to code immediately and get started with the real meat of this project. To do that, we need, uh, money–many things in Morocco are much cheaper than in the US, but the electric equipment we’ll need, including a large refrigerator, range top and convection oven, food processors, and blenders will still be quite expensive. That’s why we’re asking you to provide for these women what they’ve never had before: a way they can learn to provide for themselves, a way out of poverty.”
This is truly a wonderful project that I am thrilled to support. Right now funds are being raised to complete the renovations and to purchase the equipment needed to operate a functional kitchen. All of this must be in place before the center can open. From the fundraising page, “All of your contributions will go directly towards buying what we need for the women to start learning, so there’s not much we can give you in thanks besides gratitude, our modest offerings to the right of this text, and, of course, a complimentary meal should you ever find yourself in Marrakech.”
How Can You Get Involved?
I know there are so many of you out there who are interested in helping out. There’s a few ways that you can show your support.
- Make a donation through bank transfer.
- Like the Amal Women’s Training Center Facebook page
- Follow Nora’s blog Life in Marrakesh for updates about the project.
- Visit the restaurant when you’re in Marrakech!
I know that donating money to an organization or cause located overseas can be troublesome for people. I would like to just reiterate that this organization is 100% legitimate. I know Nora personally and can attest to the validity of this organization and it’s intents. Please help in anyway you might be able to!