Last school year ended on a high note and I am thrilled to share these good news with you!
Great successes in 2015, thanks to your support!
One of the main purpose of our program in Imzouren is to make sure that the children and kids living in these underprivileges single mother families get the chance to continue their studies as long as they can and want, so that they can then break the vicious circle of poverty.
Eventually, the educational support, tutoring classes, learner’s skills development… all the efforts of our educational team finally bore fruits, since most of our kids have passed their final exams successfully! I am proud to announce you that all five candidates got their Baccalaureate certificate and students following a vocational training also obtained a 100% success! 95% of our kids attending primary school passed to the next level. As in all Morocco, the success rate is lower in secondary school: 84% of our kids passed to the next level.
Enough with the figures, let me tell you a bit about three of our successful youths:
Houda, a very determined young girl got her Baccalauerate certificate in the first session: she is the only of our 5 candidates who managed it this year, and we are very proud of her.
Mehdi, another baccalaureate candidate, was in a critical condition last semester. You can imagine his joy (and ours) when he triumphed and passed his exam with success! He is now getting better and better, and we are sure that this success helped him in his recovery.
Do you recall Saber? He had always dreamt of becoming a police officer but had found out last year that, because of his health condition, he could never become one. Well we have some good news for you: his health improved and his condition is now steady, and above all, he finally decided to resume his studies and in parallel to set up an Income Generating Revenue to support himself in the city of Oujda. On top of this project, he has decided to achieve another dream of his: he wants to become a referee so he will prepare the International Confederation of Basketball competitive exam.
To close this successful year, our children participated in the school year end show and gave free rein to their talents in singing, dancing and acting in comic skits and sketches.
After a year of zealous labor, youths have opted for paid internship in car repairing, sales assistant, or other summer jobs and in their free time, enjoyed the sea near Imzouren.
The mothers also ended a zealous year
The mothers have completed their training and followed the recommendations of individual and collective meetings with the program coordinators. One important meeting was held with a micro credit association called "ARDI", which could help our single mothers willing to set up an Income Genereting Activity, either alone or within a cooperative. The program coordinators are now helping the beneficiaries to build their files and apply for microcredit.
Let me give you an update about Fatema, our cordon bleu! She continues to seduce customers with her delicious dishes and was sought by all the families in celebrations of marriages. We wish her even more success.
Oum was another successful mother last quarter: after following a training thanks to your support, she participated in the first Imzouren hair-dressing competition. In this very conservative region, mostly men were participating in the competition and, guess what, she beat them all, she even overcame her instructor! She received the first prize from the hands of the municipality president, blushing on stage. Oum is not the extrovert type, but this competition helped a lot spread her name as a good hairdresser and find jobs. Everyone was sollicitating her for marriage parties this summer!
I want to thank you all for your amazing support: thanks to your help and the program coordinators hard work, 8 families are now autonomous! But in this region, more are needing help. We are already conducting social surveys on the field to select new single mother families living in precarious condition and needing special support to make sure children’s rights are respected and poverty circle can be broken.
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.
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:
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.
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)!
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.
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:
In addition to Aid El Kebir, last quarter was filled with celebrations in Imzouren:
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!
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:
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!
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