Empowering Disadvantaged Women Through Food in Morocco: The Amal Center

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Food can do many things, and in Morocco, it’s being used as a tool for women’s empowerment.

The Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant in Marrakech, opened last spring, and the concept is simple: help disadvantaged women by providing employment and training opportunities. In a place that’s as culinarily rich as Morocco, what better way to do that than through food?

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“Amal” means hope in Arabic, and that’s exactly what a space like this brings. One woman shared that she no longer has to worry about paying for her daughter’s school supplies and private classes in science and math.”I want my daughter to have the best education possible so she does not spend most of her life mopping floors for well-to-do women, like I did.” Educate girls, change the world.

The restaurant serves up home cooked Moroccan lunches and the menu changes daily. There are currently eight women staff members at Amal and soon a four month training program will welcome 10 more women. During their training, Amal Center’s newly hired Job Placement Coordinator will work on finding the interns jobs in restaurants and hotels in Marrakech, a way of making sure that the food skills that they learn secure them jobs and empower them to move forward.

A beautiful example of tradition and culture being used to push for positive change.

The Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant is currently in their last push for funding of expansion efforts. You can support the project here. Better yet, if you find yourself in Marrakech, drop in for a visit!

 

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