By Pommelien da Silva Cosme, HAF intern
December 3, 2015
HAF intern Pommelien joined HAF project manager Amina in a visit to a group of women in Ourika, where she learned more about the participatory approach and spoke with some of the women.
Last week I joined HAF project manager Amina to meet a group of women in Ourika. When we arrived in the late afternoon, we were welcomed by over 30 women. After many kisses, hugs and “Salam Aleikum’s” – the women are always so warm and welcoming – I noticed several women in the process of making a staple Moroccan dish, couscous.
From there, Amina opened the meeting to discuss upcoming trainings and workshops. I wasn’t able to understand very much but it was really interesting to see how the participatory approach works. This week for example, the women will participate in a compost workshop – so a part of the meeting was to evaluate the women’s expectations and discuss what materials were available and which location and time would work for them.
After the meeting we joined the women for tea. I met the lovely Aisha, who is very involved in the women’s community and various trainings. As a mother of five, Aisha has been busy working at home for many years. Now she also participates in different trainings and meetings with women every week. She truly enjoys working outside of the house with this group of women.
Aisha seemed to really enjoy the fact that she and the other women in her community are involved in the different kind of participatory processes. “This way, we are able to learn about the whole process,” she said, “and we are able to discover what our strengths are.”
One of HAF’s goals is to empower women and integrate them in the economic and green cycle. According to Aisha, there are many different economic opportunities and possibilities for the women of her community, such as olives and tree nurseries– their wonderful ideas keep coming!
Aisha is currently participating in all the different trainings which HAF project manager Amina is managing. The trainings revolve around a participatory approach and cover different subjects, such as learning the difference between an association and a co-op, but also how to create a co-op. The trainings cover all the different steps and the women are able to pitch their ideas and express their concerns along the way.