Oct. 2012 Field Report from Ouafa Elbarqui, HAF's Center Coordinator:
Cooperative for women and young girls of Tassa Ouirgan, Rural Commune of Ouirgane, Province of Al Haouz, MOROCCO
October, 2012 Updates
The High Atlas Foundation’s field team had led a great deal of participatory community meetings with women and girls of the rural village “Tassa Ouirgan” for them to prioritize and identify their local development projects. As a result of this series of participatory community planning meetings, around 60 women and girls will benefit from the co-op to be constructed, enabling them to easily manage the local development projects they have already identified. Creating this co-op will also give them a chance to improve their lives in the sense that it offers them a space to meet, discuss and make decisions by their own. More than that, it can be a space for improving their capacities; learning of new skills in different domains: Crafts, Agricultural, educational and environmental skills…etc. It is an important space for skills and knowledge exchange not only between women and young girls but between experts, which will be provided by the HAF.
The HAF has given a lot of importance to the construction of this co-op location for women and has put it as one of the first goals of the HAF in Tassa Ouirgan because of the great interest the women and young girls have expressed for this need. On September 20, 2012, Ouafa Elbargui, the HAF’s center coordinator was joining the group of women and young girls during two hours of the general assembly for the registration of the women’s co-op, and together we succeeded to formulate the board of directors, which consists of 9 members (women and young girls). These Board members will manage all of the business of the co-op with participation of the other advisors. The co-op is called “Hope Association for Women of Tassa Ouirgan”. For this moment both the HAF’s team and the board members are working together to complete the application file for the registration to submit it to the Caidat of Ouirgan, a state administration which belongs to the Ministry of Interior which provides the authorization for creating cooperatives, nonprofit associations….etc.
Once we get the provisional permit, the construction of the co-op building will begin. Normally, this professional document is received after 15 days of the file submission. Then after two months, the Caidat will provide the final permit. Both the women and the young girls are very ambitious and happy about having their co-op, feeling that sense of autonomy of managing their lives and projects themselves. It always used to be a hope for them but now it is going to be a realized dream.
[See attached photos.]
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