MEPI Training Supports New Cooperative

MEPI Training Supports New Cooperative

people tending to bees

A recent biology grad is passionate about supporting rural women in agricultural development. After participating in entrepreneurial training, she launches a cooperative of her own

MEPI Training In Action

Nezha was frustrated by the experiences of rural women in the mountainous regions of Taounate. Despite the central role these women play in the local economy, they remain dependent on a host of middlemen to process and sell their products. Nezha decided to work toward increasing the self-agency of rural women and recognizing the value they bring to their households and communities.

During her studies as a biology major, Nezha’s connection to the land only grew. Passionate about promoting local products, she dedicated herself to volunteer work in civil society, participating in various initiatives aimed at empowering women and promoting natural, local products.

In 2022, Nezha was accepted to the “Engaging Underserved Communities in the Fez Region through Legal Aid, Awareness-Raising, and Socio-Economic Integration” program implemented by the High Atlas Foundation in partnership with the Faculty of Law in Fes with funding from the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). This program provided legal, social, and economic training, but also provided a strong support system within a community of like-minded people passionate about social and environmental change.

After participating in courses on leadership skills and management, funding opportunities, tax incentives for cooperatives in Morocco, and social media and e-marketing management, Nezha launched the Zahrat Alchamal cooperative. The cooperative consists of four women and three men, and seeks to employ and train rural women in the local production cycle of natural products.

Nezha shared that the true value of the program wasn’t only the technical training and knowledge, but was in the unwavering commitment to provide ongoing support throughout the crucial stages of business development. Now, she is equipped to share these skills with the people of Taounate, continuing the cycle of community-led development.

people looking at a laptop together
people inspecting honey
“The true allure of this program lies not only in its ability to impart training and acquire knowledge but also in its unwavering commitment to provide ongoing support throughout the crucial stages of business development.”Nezha

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