Training Moroccan Women

Hello family and friends. We are Olivia from England and Jill from Australia, new friends who met in Marrakech, Morocco and are currently working as volunteers in an association called the Place of Wellbeing.

Olivia (right), Jill (middle), with our homestay host Ameena.

We feel so fortunate to been introduced and assigned to assist Badr, the founder of the Place of Wellbeing. This inspirational young man has set up and manages an association that provides training for single, divorced or widowed mothers in Marrakech.

He currently has around sixty women training to be beauticians, hairdressers, seamstresses and cooks. They pay a very small amount (20 euros) to attend the centre to complete their year-long government certified course. In addition, once the students have graduated, Badr helps the women secure paid work and offers childcare/schooling for their younger children, aged 3 – 6 years, for a further period of two years.

Making almond biscuits.

Making bread.

Swapping recipes.

The centre is as much a refuge for these women as it is a training centre. A place where they can relax, chat with friends and find support away from their often difficult home lives.

Badr visits the 100 children enrolled at the childcare school every morning before starting work at the women's centre.

Badr in class.

Learning is fun.

Badr is our inspiration, while his Mother is HIS inspiration, after being left on her own to raise four sons. Using personal experience he has created this organisation to help others in similar situations. Hundreds of women are now able to build better lives for themselves, escaping from unfortunate circumstances, often not of their own making. In a society that stigmatises divorce, they are all mothers raising their children alone or with little marital support. There is NO welfare system in Morocco, for some this is their only aid..

The two of us work with the women learning to cook, to teach them basic conversational English. These women generally have low levels of education and few prospects for gaining a well-paid position.

Olivia, in full teacher mode.

Badr, adding in the vital Arabic translatons.

The Place of Wellbeing currently has two sites; one where the women train and one where the children are educated. Badr has recently secured a third building which he will open in the coming weeks. This new centre is much larger, able to take on another 100 women but it still needs equipment and supplies before the courses can begin. 

The rents, fit-outs and general running costs have previously been funded entirely by Badr's family and friends. They hope that later this year, after three years of operation, the Government will assess them and provide some well deserved financial assistance. We are asking you, our friends and family, if you would be willing to make a donation to this worthy cause.

We are strong proponents of helping women to help themselves. As Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn say in their inspirational book, women are "half the sky".  The Place of Wellbeing is making such a BIG difference to these women's lives and we know that we can help Badr continue his work with your donation.


Lighting the oven is a risky business. A small apartment kitchen provides basic facitilities for these burgeoning chefs.
Learning the intricacies of preparing sweet Moroccan almond biscuits.
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