By Bouchra Zine
HAF Family Literacy in Beni Mellal Khenifra Field Officer
Women of Nissae Aska cooperative in Ait M’hmed learn about the Family Literacy program Photo: Bouchra Zine
February 4, 2022 was a long day full of encounters, sharing of experiences, and expression of feelings and future projects for the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) Family Literacy team.
The first visit was to the village of Talsnant, Ait Bouguemez commune, in the Azilal province. The long journey was worthwhile because it allowed the team to meet the members of the Teghrim cooperative, whose activities are sewing and weaving. During the meeting, they continued to talk about their previous successful experiences with the High Atlas Foundation. Cooperative President Lalla Najma and her colleagues had already participated in an Imagine empowerment workshop conducted by another team member, Mrs. Amina El Hajjami. As they mentioned, “Today’s success is due to many workshops and training, but the Imagine workshop has had the greatest impact on us because it brought enormous value to the women’s lives, giving us a chance to express ourselves and really get to know our bodies, goals, and abilities.” Teghrmin members are eager to have another such workshop to give new members a chance to benefit from it as well.
Following that meeting, the team traveled to Ait M’Hamed to meet the Nissae Aska cooperative created in 2019, and HAF has already been in contact with Cooperative President Malika Ankes. In 2020, this group was awarded a budget from the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) to build their head office and buy machines with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture. Their hard work led them to receive the equipment with the support of the Social Development Agency. The women of Nissae Aska see their education as a necessary condition to improve their situation. As stated by Mrs. Ankes, “Using the scale, receiving clients, attending national training, and marketing products requires a good level of education. That is why all members of our cooperative are ready for literacy training.”
At the end of the day, the final meeting took place with the members of the Abrid N’lkhir cooperative from Hbab village also in Ait M’Hmed commune. Their main activity is sewing but they cater weddings, parties, and traditional ceremonies. This is a group of young girls motivated to improve the situation of local women, with one stating “We cannot wait for the government to hire us. His Majesty King Mohammed VI said in a speech that associative work has a big role in the progress of the country.”