SOS Children's Villages Morocco (SOS Villages d'Enfants Maroc)

We are an independent, non-confessional and apolitical non governmental organization in the field of social development. We build families for children in need, we help them to shape their own future and we take part in the development of their communities.
Jun 9, 2016

Ramadan Kareem !

before going to the funfair
before going to the funfair

Dear Global Giving supporter,

As the holy month of Ramadan is starting in Morocco, I am glad to give you an update about the project in Imzouren.

Thanks to your support, we are currently helping 73 children and youths and their 30 different families in the region of Imzouren.

As you know, our FSP officer Moulouda, regularly works with the mothers to follow schooling of children. She visits schools and maintain the contact with teacher, especially since most of the children encounter difficulties at school. During the past 3 months, we have reinforced after school tutoring classes for the pupils who are facing exams in the end of the year. 42 pupils benefit from tutoring classes, all levels included from primary school to high school. We wish them good luck for the end of the year and a lot of success !

We have also worked with the youths during the last semester, with the organization of two vocational guidance workshops with pupil from last year of secondary school to termination of high school (passing Baccalaureate certificate). The objectives were to give information about pathways to choose among studies at university or vocational trainings, to raise awareness about the necessity to focus on a relevant personal project to succeed in professional and social insertion and to give confidence to the youths and help them build their own future.

On top of thes workshops, 11 youths took part in the visit of Al Hoceima Marine Insitute and 3 other youths travelled all the way to Casablanca to participate in the National Youth Forum in partnership with two other NGOs. It was an amazing opportunity for them to know more about vocational trainings, studies at university and administrative procedures to get public grants. They could also meet with companies and talk with employees to know more about their pathways and experience. On top of this, it was a great adventure for them, since it was their first travel out of their region, to the big city of Casablanca.

In parallel, we keep working with the mothers to give them the means to raise their children in dignity. We plan that 5 families will be autonomous in July 2016, and we are currently working with 12 other mothers for them to set up cooking or sewing income generating activities. We will keep you informed about these projects in the coming months.

Our FSP officer finally aims at raising awareness about children’s rights in the whole community of this conservative region. She has called local schools’ directions to contribute into a mid-term action plan to raise awareness concerning auto protection of the child against sexual abuse and other forms of violenceThe plan includes workshop with pupils and parents about Children's Rights through a support document: Guide “Thank you to respect my rights”. Moulouda has already organized workshops with one school for 40 children from the community and their parents.

To end with a joyful story, there has been a very special day in April: we managed to get free tickets for the local funfair in Imzouren. You should have hear the kids and their mothers laugh, the first time they got on a merry-go-round ! This was unique and precious. The children have a difficult past and background so it is even more important for them to live those happy childhood moments every child deserves!

I leave you with the smiles of the children and, on behalf of the families you help stick together, I wish you a serene and peaceful month of Ramadan!

After-school tutoring classes
After-school tutoring classes
Visit of Al Hoceima Marine Institute
Visit of Al Hoceima Marine Institute
National youth forum in Casablanca
National youth forum in Casablanca
laughters at the funfair
laughters at the funfair
Mar 14, 2016

"Where there's a will there's a way"

Sobiha selling her ironwork designs
Sobiha selling her ironwork designs

Dear Global Giving supporter,

As you might know, earth has been trembling in Imzouren region for the past weeks. Luckily, there has been no major damages in the region so far, and the families you are helping are safe and sound.

Today, as we have just celebrated women’s rights international day, I would like to share with you a success story of our program, which shows that there are amazing and strong women in this region of Morocco who can achieve miracles if they are given a little help. (We have changed all the names, out of respect for our beneficiaries’privacy)

Khalida’s story starts like many of the women you are currently helping. She saw her whole world crumble the day her husband left her, with three young children and only limited sewing skills to support her family. Before her separation, Khalida had never left her house without her husband’s permission and, in this very traditional region, she thought that being a divorced woman was a disaster.

Khalida’s sister, Sobiha, is the one who came to knock on our door. She met Moulouda, our FSP officer, and explained her sister’s sad situation. After examining the whole family’s situation, and given how depressed Khalida was, Moulouda decided to include the family in the program, considering Sobiha, who did not have children and was single, as the referent.

We gave the basic needs support for the whole family to Sobiha (food, hygiene and health packages) who became a second mother for the children. We made sure that kids were attending school by providing school supplies and helping them with psychological support and tutoring classes. We worked with Khalida to help her out of her depression with psychological support and coaching.

She started to get out of the house, first simply to pick her kids from school. Sobiha also played a crucial part in Khalida’s recovery. She encouraged her sister to go out of the house more and more and to attend the sewing professional training we proposed her in order to improve her skills and regain self-confidence.

After a long process, for the sake of her children, Khalida finally managed to face the outside world. She now makes a living by selling the clothes she designs, and thanks to another income generating activity she has set up with Sobiha. They have hens, cows and sheeps and Khalida is the one who brings the milk and eggs to the local shop. Khalida would never have imagined she was able to be the head of two companies and additionally to do a job – farming - which is typically practiced by men and which Khalida really enjoys.

Sobiha also has developed her skills thanks to the program: she attended very seriously the awareness sessions we proposed regarding school follow-up, children’s psychology, and children’s rights. This “second mother” of three children became an advocate of children’s rights.

She also decided to have another activity to help her family, on top of the farming activity. We helped her to attend a specific training and she is now part of an innovative ironwork women’s cooperative. Again, a stereotyped “men’s job” for this amazing woman who declares: “women are not weak, women can do whatever they want – where there is a will there is a way!”.

The three children are now safe and happy to live with their mother and aunt and are thankful to Khalida and Sobiha for all the efforts they have made to keep the family together and offer them proper schooling.

On behalf of Khadija, Fatima, Reda, Khalida and Sobiha, it is my turn to thank you for your support to this program, for helping these brave women who fight every day to raise their children in dignity and stand tall despite a merciless fate.

Dec 16, 2015

Fatna's family story

Dear friend,

As the year is ending, Moulouda, our Family Strenghtening Program Officer in Imzouren is still working hard to make sure that vulnerable single mothers can keep their children with them, recover dignity and offer their kids the schooling they need to break the circle of poverty.

I would like to tell you a success story that YOU made possible, by supporting Imzouren Family Strenghtening Program. I hope that reading Fatna’s family story will bring you as much joy and hope as I felt when I heard it. (We have changed all the names, out of respect for our beneficiaries’privacy)

Fatna was illiterate and had four children - 3 girls and one young boy - when her husband abandoned the family, leaving Fatna alone and vulnerable in a conservative region where lonely mothers are stigmatized.

Desperate and afraid, Fatna followed the advice of a friend and knocked on Imzouren Family Strenghtening Program doors at the end of 2011.

She was then completely lost and did not know how to cope with this situation. Fatna had to leave her native douar (rural town) where the community isolated her. She was working as a cleaner in different homes to earn little money that barely paid for the rent of her poor home. Traumatized by her parents painful separation, but also by the extreme poverty in which she had to live, Hajiba, Fatna’s oldest daughter had dropped school in her last year of secondary school, right before entering highschool and was expressing a strong inferiority feeling. Khalid, Fatna’s youngest boy, was also suffering from the sudden departure of his father. He was struggling to follow his primary school 4th grade curriculum and was on the verge of dropping out of school. Fatna was then feeling so depressed and helpless that she was thinking about abandoning her children.

When she entered our Family Strenghtening Program, what Fatna needed the most was psychological support and hope for her children’s future. Fatna committed to participate seriously in all our awareness sessions and capacity building trainings as well as leaving her kids at school. In exchange, we helped her with food and hygiene packages, health services, psychological support for her and her children, trainings and awareness sessions and covering all schooling expenses.

Progressively, we witnessed Fatna’s transformation: she gained more and more self-confidence and showed an incredible motivation to learn. She learnt how to read and write thanks to the literacy classes we offered. She learnt how to be a better mother and defend her own rights and her children’s rights thanks to the awareness sessions we provided. You should have seen Fatna’s smile when our FSP officer explained the Moudawana to her and she discovered that her children and herself had many rights, even thought she was divorced from her husband. Finally she learnt how to become the head of the family and shape her own future thanks to our Family Development Plan. Fatna decided to follow a cooking training: this also participated in recovering self-confidence and helped her prepare healthy and cheap meals for her family.

In the past 4 years, the children have also metamorphosed, and you should hear how proud Fatna is when she presents her four jewels.  We provided Khalid with tutoring classes and a reinforced individual monitoring: he is now in secondary school and is no longer thinking about dropping out of it. His sister Ghita is in highschool, she will pass her baccalaureate certificate next year after benefitting from our advisory sessions and orientation workshops. Btissame is a brilliant law student in Oujda Mohammed 1st University and wants to defend the rights of women and children. She is well armed for her future professional life, after following our trainings regarding time and conflict management as well as job research techniques. Hajiba who was the most affected by her parents’ conflict, followed individual coaching sessions. She progressively recovered pride and the will to go back to school. Following her tastes and the orientation advice of our FSP Officer, she decided to follow a 2-years catering vocational training in a well-known Institute. She successfully graduated and, thanks to the FSP support (job research technique, networking etc), she was hired in a restaurant in Al Hoceima, a touristic city 20 minutes from Imzouren. She is now helping her mother to provide for the family needs.

Fatna, matriarch of a revitalized family, is now walking head-high. She found a regular job in a micro-finance company (with a contract, guarantees, and health insurance). She wants her 3 younger children to pursue their studies as long as possible, to be able to follow their dreams and above all, she wants her 3 daughter not to depend too much on a future husband. No doubt that with this powerful example, Ghita, Btissame and Hajiba will follow their mother’s advice.

In 2015, Fatna and her family were declared autonomous. They are no longer part of our Programme but Fatna is grateful for all the support she got and she is now guiding vulnerable single mothers who are at risk of abandoning their children towards our FSP. Fatna asked me to thank all our supporters.

So on behalf of Fatna, Hajiba, Btissame, Ghita, Khalid and all our Imzouren FSP beneficiaries for the past 4 years, THANK YOU!

 
   

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