Greenside Development Foundation – Morocco
The Women of Atlas. A Turning Point
- Marginalized areas where women are unaware of their most basic rights!
- Societies suffering from increasing marginalization and exclusion!
- Socio-economic conditions that aggravate gender-based violence!
- Numerous needs, challenges and priority issues, while awareness campaigns remain limited to urban areas!
- Women have limited access to financial support, employment opportunities, and education!
|49% of women and youth in Morocco cannot find an employment opportunity.
This is the situation in Imouzzer Kandar, Morocco, where gender inequality and social injustice are worsening and where the women’s unemployment crisis threatens the fabric of the Middle Atlas communities in particular and North Africa more broadly.
To meet these challenges, the Greenside Development Foundation launched a range of initiatives and projects, in partnership with a number of international organizations, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations, with a focus on the vital and often invisible economic and social roles of women. The Foundation sought to strengthen the rural women’s leadership and community roles by building their production capacities and leadership skills in order for them to attain their right to decent living conditions and sustainable development.
|The Greenside Development Foundation was established in 2012 with a view to contribute to the fight against poverty, fragility and social exclusion, especially amongst women. The Foundation’s activities and initiatives aim to improve the socio-economic conditions of poor and marginalized segments of the society, and to place the Moroccan citizen at the forefront of the quest for development.
The Foundation launched a series of programs to promote women’s economic and social participation, including training on entrepreneurship skills, marketing women’s products in French markets, and the use of information technology in addition to training courses for 300 beneficiaries among farmer rural women on livestock rearing, afforestation and beekeeping.
The Foundation also launched the “Creating Job Opportunities for and by Youth” program, which aimed to help women be innovative and establish projects, as well as the “Economic Empowerment of Women” project, which aims to provide entrepreneurship and leadership training to 600 young women in the Fez-Meknes region, including the cities of Fez, Sefrou, Azrou, El-Menzel and Ribate El-Kheir. This initiative led to 60 women emerging as entrepreneurs in the contracting sector.
|The Foundation supported the women every step of the way, from the initial project idea to the outcomes
These programs helped the women overcome social and economic challenges and contributed to changing the stereotypes pertaining to women. The Foundation enabled the trainees to complete the legal procedures of establishing private and sustainable projects. Not only did the Foundation conduct training sessions, but it also continued to follow up with the trainees individually and through field visits to determine the women’s priorities and needs. Activities were organized to provide psychological and legal support for women victims of gender-based violence. The Foundation supported women in establishing various projects ranging from small-scale income-generating activities, such as backing and selling bread, making silk buttons, and traditional crafts, to larger and more structured investments, such as cooperatives and companies.
|Nadia says that her dream was to get a job, and she used to think that this was impossible. However, after being engaged in the Foundation’s initiative, many of her past ideas changed, and her ambition was geared towards investment. After receiving career-oriented training, she started her own project, which opened her eyes to a completely different world, where she achieved self-realization.
The initiative enabled women to use modern technology in advertising campaigns through various social media, and share their experiences on national and international radio stations.
|“The idea began with a personal initiative, and now my income supports my family. All this would not have been achieved without the perseverance of the Greenside Development Foundation.”
With those words, Ms. Fatima sums up her story. She succeeded during a short period in establishing a profitable business which brings in an income that reduces the financial burden on her and her family.
The Foundation also worked to increase its outreach work with marginalized groups in rural areas.
The initiatives undertaken by the Greenside Development Foundation contributed to the empowerment of rural women in the Middle Atlas region and helped them close the gender gap in entrepreneurship and decision-making within their families and their communities.
This project had a positive impact on both the individual and community levels. The Greenside Development Foundation’s initiative reduced social fragility and exclusion faced by women, helped them become more economically independent, and enabled them to raise their income by investing in their expertise and equipping them with basic skills to help them be active agents in their communities.