The women at Amal come from a number of difficult situations and are chosen for our program due to their dedication to improving their lives. Here are some of their stories.
Our trainee had an arranged marriage at a young age. She was separated from her family and country when her husband decided to move to Egypt to find a job. They lived in Egypt for two years but he never was able to find a steady job. One day our trainee’s husband died suddenly in a car accident, leaving her alone in a foreign country with two babies. After a lot of hard work, she was able to gather just enough money to return back to Morocco. With the burden of two babies to support, she had to find odd jobs here and there. Her mother graciously volunteered to live with her in order to take care of her children for the periods while she had work. Our trainee realized that having odd jobs and unstable jobs was not enough to support two adults and two babies. She decided she wanted to gain specific skill that will get her a stable job. This is why she turned to Amal. After four months of training in the kitchen and finding support among the other trainees, our trainee graduated the program this spring. She currently has a full time job at a Riad in Marrakech and is able to provide for her two children and mother independently.
Our trainee was raised in a strict family with a father who pulled her out of school to help her mom around the house when she was still young. Her time throughout her childhood was confined mostly to her home as she was not permitted to go out much. Most of her siblings married and moved out, leaving her to take care of her one sister and parents. For the past couple of years, her mother struggled a great deal with cancer and passed away last year. Within the same month, her father got into an automobile accident and passed away as well, leaving her alone with her sister. As a teenager with no experience and no means to keep their home, she and her sister were separated and she lived among relatives, going from home to home of aunts, uncles, and cousins. She didn’t have stability or control of her life. After training with us at Amal for four months, learning kitchen skills as well as getting experiences with communicating with clients, gaining self-confidence, and learning how to speak up for herself, she successful graduated our program in May. Currently she is working full time as a cleaning staff at a villa in Marrakech. She has a steady income, a stable place to live, and control of her life in her own hands.
When our trainee was 6 years old, her father sent her away to another family. Thinking she was going on vacation, our trainee went happily, only to find that she was sent there to work as a child laborer: to cook, clean, and take care of the kids in this new family. The work conditions were extremely difficult and the family continuously mistreated her. For years, she had no one to go to for support. Many times she tried to run away, only to be sent back by her father to work again. Finally, she decided to run away and never return home. This trainee went from city to city all over Morocco, living on the streets, trying to find odd jobs here and there. In the spring of 2014, she gave birth to a daughter and became a single mother. This spring, she found an organization in Marrakech that supports single mothers and it was this organization that recommended her to come to Amal. She applied to Amal to learn skills and gain experiences in order to find a steady job so that she can become financially independent to support her baby. Currently, this trainee is in her mid-20s, graduated Amal, and has a stable job at a riad. She says that she has high hopes for her future.
Our trainee worked hard in school and did her best to be a role model for her four younger siblings. Especially after her father died, her mother worked hard to keep supporting the family. However, before she could receive her high school degree, her mother fell ill and was no longer able to work. Faced with supporting her family, she started working. One of her sisters is mentally handicapped and another has needed surgery for serious medical problems. During her time at Amal she excelled and became a wonderful server and is always dedicated to learning more. After graduating Amal, she found a job on her own but is now getting help from Amal to find a job closer to home so that she can stay near her family.
Amal helps women improve their lives. Thank you for supporting us in this mission.