By Ilham Safi and Bouchra Zine,
Family Literacy in Beni Mellal-Khenifra Team
Women of Ouaouizeght village explore ideas for starting a cooperative Photo credit: HAF team
On 3 February 2022, two members of the Family Literacy Program team in Beni Mellal-Khenifra region went to Ouaouizert village (Azilal province) in order to have a community meeting with a group of young girls who are highly motivated to change their educational and financial situations. They had already started their journey of change by making an active group, collecting data about co-ops and thinking about what they should do to create one as well. During the very successful meeting, the young ladies shared their goals, dreams, upcoming steps and fears, too, but they welcomed the literacy program.
Some participants had not been sure whether they could start a cooperative because they did not have enough ideas and information on what it involves. “Now, and after this meeting, we know what to do and how to start,” said Nora. Another participant, Houria, added, “We have many hobbies and capacities, but we couldn’t find any one to explain things to us in order to achieve our goals.”
The reality of the obstacles the women face were apparent from some of their comments. Meryem, another young woman in the group, expressed her feelings about it, saying, “To convince our families that we are capable of creating a co-op and to be active members requires big energy. But, we are ready!” Women’s families do play an important role in determining their freedom to participate in capacity-building programs, but one woman, Fatima, described her situation by saying, “I am ready to start working in the cooperative, participating in the workshops and attending the literacy classes. I just need my husband’s permission. He always encourages me to do something in my free time. So, I don’t think he would refuse.” These realities are addressed in the Imagine empowerment workshops that HAF facilitates as part of the Family Literacy Program.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the High Atlas Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.