by Zineb Laadam
HAF colleagues Houria, Hassan and I went to Chouirig Village in order to meet Daraa Lachhab Cooperative. Since cooperatives are enterprises that place people before profit, they uphold values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equity and solidarity. They practice honesty, openness and social responsibility in their operations.
The Daraa Lachhab Cooperative was officially established by 24 women on 16 October 2020 in Chouirig Village in the Sidi Badhaj municipality of Al Haouz province (Marrakech-Safi region). The cooperative works on livestock, with goals to assess the needs of local women and adolescent girls, explore challenges that they may encounter in their daily lives, and reveal opportunities for greater social cohesion.
The idea is also to support these women and girls to reach long-term and sustainable income-generating activities via the cooperative. There has been an active group of women at the Chouirig Village, and the idea of building a cooperative arose out of the focus group discussions.
The 24 members aim to expand their project and need a detailed business plan that they can use to build on and submit for governmental funds, as well as more guidance on livestock. Farmer to Farmer (F2F) can follow up on this and provide assistance in this regard.
The cooperative members also prefer that they complete a concrete definition of empowerment for presentation to their community, so they will be glad to participate in an IMAGINE workshop soon to achieve that goal.
This visit left the women of Daraa Lachhab with the feeling that they were not alone in their work and, in fact, are part of a larger movement whose combined efforts can push for women’s empowerment in Morocco.