KEEP 100 MOROCCAN CHILDREN AWAY FROM ABANDONMENT

 
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Family day in Imzouren
Family day in Imzouren

The sacred month of Ramadan is about to begin in Morocco: this family gathering period is a great time for me to give you some news about the mothers and children of Imzouren Family Strengthening Program. Enjoy the reading!

 

Last quarter of school before summer holidays

Thanks to the faithful support of our donors and partners, the Family Strengthening Program continues to pay school fees for children who are in Kindergarten: this allows the mother to attend trainings, look for a job and eventually have a job that allows them to keep their children with them. The program also pays school transportation for pupils in primary school: this is a prerequisite for children to continue to go to school.

May is the time where children who are in the last year of secondary school and highschool have to choose their academic direction for next year. To help them make the best choice, pupils have participated in the third Course Choice Workshop of the year in Imzouren.

For the youths who will soon be looking for a job, a second Job Research Technique workshop was organized together with Imzouren SOS Children’s Village. This workshop was key for Saber: all his life, this very determined young boy has dreamt of becoming a police officer. Unfortunately, he recently found out that his dream would never become true because of his health problem. After this very hard blow, Saber has to accept this situation and to think about another career choice after university. On top of free visits with a psychologist, the workshop helped Saber find the inner peace and self-confidence he needs to move on. We wish Saber to find another vocation soon, and a job that will be compatible with his health condition.

When we tell you about school, we generally think about children and youths. But school is also an important matter for parents: how they can monitor homework and support their children so that they can succeed.

Having this in mind, the program manager organizes regular educational meetings between the mothers of the program and the teachers of the primary school, to help them understand the needs of their children. The mother receive advice on how they can support the children, despite the fact that most of them had to quit school very early (younger than their children).

To go one step further and improve educational support within the program, the program manager and school support teachers participated (alongside the teaching staff of Imzouren SOS Children’s Village) in a behavioral training to promote the development of positive attitudes favoring successful and effective learning. This important training was possible thanks to a partner’s donation.

 

On the way towards autonomy

As you know, the program supports lonely mothers so that they can become autonomous, keep their children with them and offer them a life in dignity.

In their development plan, some of the mothers have expressed their wish to set up their own small agriculture company. To help them mature their projects, we offered them the opportunity to attend a meeting with officials of the Agricultural Advisory Center. They got explanation and important information about cattle, goats and rabbit farming. I will keep you posted about these nice and ambitious projects!

Let me tell you a success story of the program. Thanks to your support, Fatema, a very zealous and persevering single mother, has achieved the goals she had set in her family development plan. She is now starting to become autonomous while doing something she really enjoys. As a beneficiary of the program, Fatema had chosen to participate in cooking trainings offered by the program in Boumanqad center. Backed by this training and thanks to her tenacity and the help of our program manager in Imzouren, she has created her own catering company. She prepares traditional Moroccan dishes, salty appetizers and sweet pastries. With her delicious recipes, she has won the stomachs of her costumers and thanks to her charisma, she has also won their hearts: her small company is a on the road to success! She now has a good customer base that makes regular orders. What a great success and a nice example for the other mothers of the program. We wish all the best to Fatema!

 

Impact on the community

Imzouren Family Strengthening Program aims at having an impact on the overall local community, and not only on the families directly benefiting from the Program.

Within the region, SOS Children’s Villages is a pioneer regarding children’s rights and children’s protection. In order to share our knowledge and experience with the local community, our program manager organized several awareness sessions for children, regarding self-protection against sexual abuse in two local schools (Ibn Rushd and Sidi Bouafif). She has also set up awareness sessions for women beneficiaries of INSAF Lousra association, on children care, on how to communicate with their children and on sexual education for girls.

 

Family day in Imzouren: happy anniversary to SOS Children’s Villages in Morocco!

Do you know that there is a special day to celebrate your family and all families around the world? It is May 15th! This date is very important for SOS Children’s Village in Morocco, even more this year. To celebrate 30 years of action for the association in Morocco, the big SOS family, to which you belong, gathered in Imzouren SOS Children’s Village to share a nice day and participate in various activities. In an atmosphere of joy and gladness, SOS families, PRF families, local associations, donors and partners, blew the candles of the thirtieth anniversary of SOS Children’s Villages in Morocco.

Youths during the course choice workshop
Youths during the course choice workshop
Meet Fatema - our cordon bleu !
Meet Fatema - our cordon bleu !
Awareness on protection against sexual abuse
Awareness on protection against sexual abuse
Having fun during Family Day in Imzouren
Having fun during Family Day in Imzouren
The future baccalaureate graduates
The future baccalaureate graduates

It is a great pleasure to revert to you as the spring begins here in Morocco and I would like to focus on education and health, which are key in our Imzouren Family Strengthening Program.

On the path to success!

As we have previously informed you, a tutoring program was set up this year, to help the beneficiaries of Imzouren Family Strengthening Program overcome their academic difficulties and lead them to success. Aware of their important mission, the teachers adapted the academic support program to each level and to the identified gaps. The mothers were also sensitized to monitor their children at home through monthly educational meeting with the teachers, but also through awareness meetings with the Program coordinator. After six months of hard work, and thanks to this school support strategy, we are very proud to announce that our kids ‘grades have remarkably improved!

As part of the academic orientation, five students who will be passing the Baccalaureate certificate next June have participated in the second national SOS Children’s Village orientation workshop during last school holidays (at the end of January). They received a coaching session on job search techniques, on how to seize opportunities to find a job and on how to demonstrate a spirit of initiative. They also had the chance to have a guided visit to the central office of a Moroccan mobile phone company where they have learnt about all job opportunities this company can offer to those who work hard. This workshop lit the path of our 5 future graduates with great ambition!

At the local level, a second orientation workshop was organized for the benefit of 8 Imzouren youths who are currently in the last year of middle school.  Our young students attended an awareness session on time management in order to become better organized. This workshop took place in a very zeal atmosphere and was crowned by a guided tour to an institute specializing in Hospitality and Tourism, to the Village of craftsmen and to the regional academic orientation information center.

Still in the same context, thanks to a previously developed program with the national employment agency, 8 youths have received an awareness session about how to correctly write a curriculum vitae but also about the available services for internships and job search.

Health: focus on prevention

Health is a key priority, especially during the winter season, which was very rigorous this year. Our families and especially children benefited from medical visits to defeat the common cold, respiratory problems and sore throats.

Last quarter, emphasis was placed on prevention:

  • A prevention session on breast cancer, framed by doctors from Imzouren hospital, enabled the mothers to learn about this atrocious disease.
  • To sensitize mothers and young girls to AIDS, our program coordinator conducted a meeting to explain the causes of transmission and the required precautions to prevent against this scary disease, which is unfortunately spreading in Morocco.
  • Finally, special attention was given to mothers whose children are suffering from mental illness, to make sure they are aware of the importance to follow up medical treatments and to be compliant with the dose prescribed by the doctor.

The program of activities devoted to mothers and children included prevention of violence against women: children and their mothers expressed their rejection of violence through role-plays and drawings. On the international disabled day, an educational workshop was also organized to teach children the respect for disabled persons.

Celebrations

To end on happy note, families have celebrated the feast of Lmawlid Nabawi Sharif with students in Imzouren SOS Children's Village: altogether, they sang religious songs and participated in educational and cultural competitions games.

March 8th (international women day) was also an important celebration day, especially in a cultural context where gender approach still weighs heavy. Mothers of the Family Strengthening Program gathered to watch and comment (with great emotion) the movie “Androman”, which sheds light on the plight of rural women. On that occasion, all women received flowers and Fatima won the grand prize raffle (a hi fi system)!

Hospitality and tourism training institute visit
Hospitality and tourism training institute visit
Middle school pupil orientation workshop
Middle school pupil orientation workshop
Aid Al Mawid celebration
Aid Al Mawid celebration
Children
Children's Rights Day workshop

It is a great pleasure to get back to you and give you news about the children and mothers you are sponsoring in the Family Strengthening program of Imzouren.

The start of the academic year is always a complicated time because it implies additional expenses for the families but thanks to your support and local community solidarity, school supplies, school bags and notebooks were given to more than 60 children of the project. This meant fewer expenses for the mothers of the Family Strengthening program, which were then able to celebrate Aid El Kebir according to the tradition, just as all Moroccan families, in a very festive yet simple atmosphere.

As you know, within the project we consider that children education is key in addition to training and literacy tuition for their mothers to lead them towards autonomy. That is why, last quarter, the spotlights were on monitoring school results and helping youths find their way into the academic and professional life.

  • At the beginning of the academic year, the Family Strengthening program mothers have met with Hermann Gmeiner SOS school teachers and our project coordinator has established a program to monitor children and youth school results.
  • Additionally, our project coordinator has set up an extra-tutoring program in order to fill gaps in pupil’s knowledge, mainly in mathematics and French. The aim is to strengthen their knowledge and prevent early school leave.
  • In November, SOS Children’s Village organized a national Youths Forum, to which Imzouren youths had the chance to attend. This event aimed at making the youths aware of the importance of education and professional training, in particular thanks to presentations from the Moroccan Students Foundation (which sponsors students following studies after getting the Baccalaureate certificate) and our partner DHL (which sponsors youths following professional training).
  • Locally, a course choice workshop was also organized for Imzouren’s youths but also for their mothers.  Indeed, the Family Strengthening program raised awareness of the importance of youths’ course choice among their mothers, since if these youths are successful, they will help supporting the family and leading it towards autonomy in the near future.

A healthy mind in a healthy body, children of the program also had the chance to join soccer and basketball clubs with JSI association.

Let me share some nice successful stories of Imzouren Family Strengthening program youths with you:

  • Thanks to last June course choice workshop, Youness, who had dropped school at the end of grade school, got a second chance: he is now following a professional training in aluminum work. This is a very dynamic sector in the new Imzouren and we bet this new start will lead Youness and his family towards a brighter future.
  • Siham successfully passed her baccalaureate certificate last year and, after long discussion within her family to fight conservative tradition, this determined young women finally won the debate and enrolled in Oujda’s University, to follow biology and geology classes. It is the first time Siham is living far from her mother and siblings, and this first steps towards her autonomy requires lots of strength and courage. We wish her success in her studies!
  • Youssef continues his universitary studies in Oujda to get an Arab private right license. This youth is following the right path towards autonomy: he passed the police competitive exam (we are still waiting for the results and crossing fingers), he also works as a referee and sport teacher to pay the rent and support his sister Fatema. This is a great responsibility for this serious youth, after the loss of his mother. Fatema has become the local celebrity. Imzouren community proudly encourages her: she is a middle school student at LAKHMISSAT Athletics Royal Institute and, thanks to her tenacity and dedication, she has won several national competitions. We wish all the best to these two youth!

In addition to Aid El Kebir, last quarter was filled with celebrations in Imzouren:

  • Achoura and “La marche verte” national days were celebrated in Imzouren SOS children’s village, with several activities: dance, songs, cultural challenge and other games. Lots of fun for everyone but also a bit of education about the Moroccan history!
  • For Children’s Rights Day, several activities were programmed in SOS children’s village in order to celebrate this very important day, raise awareness and stimulate the creativity of the Family Strengthening program children: drawing and writing workshops but also a role play and a great debate moderated by our program coordinator. This day was also the opportunity for Hermann Gmeiner SOS school pupils to set up a solidarity campaign and collect warm clothes to help families living in precarious conditions face the coming winter that promises to be harsh and cold.

Let me thank you again for your support, which helps us give these children and their mothers the best chances to get their autonomy!

Happy holidays to you and your families!

Course choice workshop in November
Course choice workshop in November
Raising children
Raising children's awareness of their rights
Children
Children's Rights Day drawing workshop
Achoura Day games in SOS children
Achoura Day games in SOS children's village
Achoura Day celebration
Achoura Day celebration
End of academic year party
End of academic year party

July to September 2014 Report – Keep 100 Moroccan Children away from abandonment.

We are happy to find you again, as September begins, to give you some news about the children and their mothers you are sponsoring in Imzouren.

Beginning of July was the occasion for the children to prepare a nice show for the end of the academic year! All of them participated with enthusiasm through plays, sketches, dances, choral and poetry. This show was also to raise awareness among the parents and the population about the environment and about the problems of unrespect of the children’s rights.

The school results this year in our Family Strengthening program in Imzouren were as follows: primary school 98%, college 50% and secondary school 50%. This decrease in the results while going from primary school to college follows the national results. However, we decided to intensify our efforts with the school support for the new academic year.

After a hard work during the past academic year, it was time for relaxing and playing! In that purpose, the children participated to different summer camps:

  • In Imouzzer Kandar where a summer camp was organized with the support of the National Education Ministry. The children were delighted to visit the touristic sites in the region and also to meet again with the educators and all their friends they had met in Ifrane last summer! They also participated to a cultural contest organized within the summer camp.
  • In Al Hoceima, where the children enjoyed the sparkling beaches, especially the one in Sfiha, and the numerous activities organized in the Village where a summer camp was animated by our pedagogic team thanks to the support of the Youths and Sports Ministry.

Some other children chose also to participate in the activities in the Village with a group of Spanish youths whose school is a partner of the Village.

While their children were benefiting from summer activities, their mothers had also some entertainment and some activities organized for them. Our partner méditel organized a ftour in the Village where the mothers and children from the Family Stengthening program were invited. Everyone enjoyed these moments of sharing when the children did a nice show along with some children supported by other local partner associations. This was a nice opportunity to enjoy the Ftour with the family and the friends in the Village! When Eid came, the children and mothers had also a great time and they received nice T-shirts and shorts as Eid gifts, that were very much appreciated.

The mothers also participated to some meetings where they got some information about the importance of tolerance and respecting the others, and to cultural activities organized by the women from the Oulamas. A solidarity event was organized also to the profit of the mothers and their children, who received some clothes from the National Aid.

Now in September, the children are waiting to start school again, full of energy that they goot during this summer!

We thank you again for your support to the children and their mothers who would never have the chance to get their autonomy without your generosity!

Summer outdoor activity
Summer outdoor activity
Summer indoor activity
Summer indoor activity
Partying after a hard work at school!
Partying after a hard work at school!
Computer lessons thanks to the Caravan AJI
Computer lessons thanks to the Caravan AJI

The last trimester was focused on the school follow-up of the children and youths towards the end of the academic year and the exams:

  • Our program coordinator visited all the schools in order to meet the teachers to establish a common strategy for an appropriate school support. Two teachers have been trained in order to take in charge the school support of the children. The youths in secondary school benefited from school support through the association of previous pupils of Imzouren high school.
  • The youths who need to choose this year an orientation participated in an orientation workshop in Imzouren with a team of professionals specialized in school orientation advice. The youths in vocational training have been doing some internships according to the field they study.
  • Thanks to our long-time partner Dell, the Caravan AJI, which aims to give access to technology to disadvantaged youths, visited us in Imzouren beginning of June. During 1 week, 12 youths benefited from computer lessons and 10 of them received a certificate from Dell at the end of the session!
  • Regarding sports, the association JSI keeps on supporting us with football and basketball activities for the children between 8 and 12 years old. To illustrate the partnership, an agreement was recently signed by both our National Director and the Director of JSI association.

As far as the preparation of the families to become autonomous is concerned, our program coordinator kept on establishing and following-up the Family Development Plans which aim to work towards the objective of autonomy. In that objective, the mothers have been participating, with the local authorities, to the General Meeting in order to create officially the 2 co-ops of soap manufacturing and cooking/baking,

The health of the mothers and their children is for us very important and the families benefited again from various checks-up thanks to the medical caravan organized by Sajid association. On that occasion, a solidarity campaign took place with the help of the children from Herman Gmeiner school and their parents.

Regarding the entertainment program this trimester, the children and their mothers supported by our family strengthening program have been celebrating the Family Day at the SOS Children’s Village in Imzouren together with the SOS families: cultural, artistic and sport activities, and also a tombola!

Once again, we would like to thank all of you for your continuous support to the children!

Certificate issued by DELL  given to the youths
Certificate issued by DELL given to the youths
Certificate issued by Dell to the youths
Certificate issued by Dell to the youths

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Project Leader

Helene Monot

coporate partnership excecutive
Casablanca, Grand Casablanca Morocco

Where is this project located?

Map of KEEP 100 MOROCCAN CHILDREN AWAY FROM ABANDONMENT