The Amal Women's Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant is a non-profit association dedicated to empowering disadvantaged women via training in traditional and modern cuisine. The ultimate goal is personal transformation, skill set re-enforcement, and job placement for economic and social stability.
The Amal Center was founded in November 2012 by Nora Fitzgerald, an American born and raised in Morocco, as a response to the difficulties faced by many women from disadvantaged backgrounds including widows, divorced or single mothers, orphans, women who have worked as child maids, women who have had little or no education. Most women have more than one socio-economic factor holding them back. What began as a hopeful idea of helping a few women has turned into a structured organization that employs 15 people full-time, and accepts classes of 15 women every six months for training. The Amal Center is run by a board of directors who volunteer their time to help the center grow. In December 2013, the Amal Center partnered with the Swiss based Drosos Foundation, a private non-political, non-religious organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of at-risk populations throughout the Mediterranean Basin region.
In order to offer the trainees a real life experience, and in order to financially support them during their training, the Amal Center runs a restaurant that serves lunch on a daily basis. Currently the restaurant serves an average of 100 people per day.
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We see the Amal Center and a place of community where many different groups of people come together for sharing and mutual benefit: at the heart of it are the interns who have desire only this opportunity to transform and improve their lives, then comes the team that works tirelessly to make the training effective, the board of directors who hold the vision, our partners from Drosos who support and accompany our journey, our daily customers who are a mix of local Moroccans, expats and tourists, and our volunteers from the Marrakesh community who provide invaluable support to the interns.