Association Amal: Tagine, Tea and Dignity
Amal’s training program seeks women from exceptionally difficult backgrounds who possess resounding faith in their ability to improve their lives.
– Association Amal
When we think of humanitarian organisations making a difference, we are often directed to international NGOs working in innumerable countries around the world. There is no doubt that they do good work, but often it is grassroots projects run by people who know – and indeed are from – the area and its people to the core that make the biggest, life-changing difference to those they serve. Association Amal is a fantastic example of such a project.
Association Amal is a culinary training centre and restaurant in Marrakesh, Morocco, that is focused on providing disadvantaged women with the tools to climb out of their poverty through training and job placements. Starting as a cake supply company in 2012, the project now runs a restaurant serving traditional Moroccan and international dishes that attracts visitors from far beyond the city. 15 single mothers, orphans and former child maids are accepted for training every six months and then assisted in finding full-time employment using their new skills, allowing them to provide for themselves and their families in a respectable, independent, sustainable way.
As if this wasn’t enough motivation to visit, I can personally vouch for the quality of the food served – it has to be one of the best places in the whole city to taste top quality, well-priced, authentic Moroccan dishes. I have only positive memories of my visits there, both in terms of food and service quality. The location is a serene, beautiful retreat from the chaos of Marrakesh’s most popular tourist destinations. Furthermore, for those who want to get more hands on, Association Amal offers cooking classes for the public to learn how to make Moroccan dishes!
The ultimate goal for our trainees is personal transformation and developing job and life skills for eventually having economic and social stability.
– Association Amal
Amal Association was founded by Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen, who grew up in Morocco and saw the problems faced by certain women around her. She used the tools at her disposal, and a lot of hard work, to build a sustainable solution. This isn’t a project that is solely dependent on charitable donations; as a fully functional restaurant, the income from sales allows the assistance offered to so many women to be secure and continued, even in the case of donation fluctuations.
Our seventh #group of #trainees are #focusing during #orientation #week. In this 6 #months #training #program our #beneficiaries will #master skills and build #knowledge in the areas of #Moroccancuisine, #international #cuisine and the #service. They will #expand their #understanding of how to #successfully #work in a #team, with a special #focus on #languages, #hygiene and #environment. We #wish them the #best of #luck! #education #learning #hope
What can you learn and apply from the example of Association Amal’s work?
- Donate to Amal Association here.
- If you visit Marrakesh, make sure you don’t leave before you have paid Amal Association a visit – you won’t regret it! If you know someone who is planning to go to Marrakesh, make sure you let them know about it too.
- Pray for the continued success and growth of the project and the constant purity of intention and perseverance of its hardworking founder and team members.
- Do you have a skill or talent that you could teach to someone that would improve their prospects? How about tutoring someone who is having trouble keeping up with their schoolwork or teaching people to knit or make items that can be sold to raise money for charity?
Follow Amal Association online