5000$ for ADF to transform the neighborhood of plastic into a neighborhood of dreams

Presentation Movie Dar al AmalVideo Dar al Amal

“Don’t tell me one single woman can’t change the world. If I had thought so, nothing would, indeed, have changed.” Faiza Hajji, Founder of ADF

Those are the words of Faiza Hajji, the driving force behind the Association du Docteur Fatiha (ADF). Faiza launched ADF in 2008 to bring sustainable development to her region while fostering women’s empowerment.

Today, more than 60 rural women receive a regular income thanks to ADF’s programs, more than 1.000 children have met ADF teams and were sensitized about environmental protection. This enabled ADF to collect and reuse more than 25.000 plastic bags, since its creation.

For Faiza, this is just the beginning. What’s next for ADF has never been done before in Morocco: Transform the impoverished community of “Douar el Mika–” the “neighborhood of plastic bags–” into the site of an innovative mega-center dedicated to spurring a local green economy. The project is called “Dar al Amal,” which means House of Hope in Arabic and is slated to be a beacon of hope in any area where many people feel their options are limited.

“Douar el Mika is one of the poorest areas in Berkane. Full of young people feeling angry about being born in a place that left them so little choice about their future. They have this special energy that makes for great change-makers. We simply need to give them a chance.”

[See the plans of Dar al Amal here]

Dar al Amal will:

  • Create jobs in a region where the unemployment rate may reach 19,6%

  • Host and train young Moroccan entrepreneurs dedicated to sustainable development and social change through its young entrepreneur incubator program

  • Lead research efforts to develop innovative income-generating activities for impoverished rural women and generate fresh ideas to address ecological issues of the region

  • Provide impoverished populations with a free access to cultural events and learning opportunities organized in a new community center and library

  • Offer a safe and healthy environment for local population to live and work

  • Foster women’s empowerment through professional trainings and literacy courses

  • Develop and pilot new income-generating activities, based on waste reuse

  • Be a self-sustaining model of a smart, green, eco-friendly, traditional, and inexpensive architecture

Why we need $5,000?

Thanks to our generous institutional backer, Legallais Foundation, ADF has been able to launch the feasibility study with the award-winning Moroccan-Canadian architect Aziza Chaouni, who specializes in green and sustainable architecture.

ADF is now ready to move into the materials research phase of this project. Our goal is to not only build Morocco’s first center for the environment and green jobs, but to also build a center that models environmental responsibility in the use of its building materials. Our goal is to build Dar al Amal completely from local and/or recycled materials that showcases traditional Moroccan architecture. This is fundamental as we want the center to be built with local and/or recycled materials. With your help, we can complete our research phase of materials that will ensure that Dar al Amal is built with the most effective, efficient, and energetically passive materials.

One woman has changed her community. Imagine what a crowd could do?

ADF dedicates this project and works tirelessly for all of the dynamic young people who can’t find a job and who want to build a better future for themselves; for all of the impoverished young people who have ambition but no means to envision a different future from their parents’. For every man and woman willing to contribute to the improvement of their life and their environment, or willing to act for their community, we stand united and ready to create change with you.

We thank you for joining us to put in place the foundation stone to a center, The House of Hope, that will give young people the opportunity to explore their dreams and potential, interrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and set the standard for a green economy in Morocco. With you standing by us in support, we know that we can transform the neighborhood of plastic into a neighborhood of dreams.


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Faiza Hajji’s profession of faith

Don’t tell me one single woman can’t change the world. If I had thought so, nothing would, indeed, have changed. But I never stopped believing that I could do something, with my own means, to improve the situation of my region of origins.

Picture this : an isolated Moroccan region and city, Berkane, where plastic bags follow the wind’s breaths and fly among people, cars and donkeys. When you live the city you are struck by the emptiness of its countryside…at first sight! Since, when you have a closer look, you notice that it is far away from being empty. You go on and meet so many people, shepherds, children, men… The time is like frozen : nothing moves, everybody waits. For what? A taxi to go to the city, a bus to go to school, or a little sun to warm up after a cold morning. Just waiting outside because nothing happens at home.

Vieil homme à Douar el Mika

Actually you don’t really see women outside. They take care of the kids and of the house, cooking, cleaning up, weaving… When you come to know them, you realize their life has nothing to do with yours. You were the lucky one : born in Berkane in a family where girl’s education and independence was fundamental. Most of rural women in Eastern Morocco can’t read nor write. They barely went to school.

That’s when I got an idea : teach them how to weave alpha, a local plant, together with recycled plastic bags. Once graduated, I created the Association du Docteur Fatiha (ADF), from the name of my deceased mom, to empower women and fight for environmental protection. We gather rural women in cooperatives: they become a group which is trained and receives literacy courses. To provide them with the raw materials they need (i.e. plastic bags), ADF establishes collecting spots in the city and organizes awareness-raising campaigns in schools of the region. In that way, two issues are addressed in a raw, which creates a sound virtuous circle. This is for what I’ve been doing since 2008.

Formation des artisanes à Chouihiya centre

Formation des artisanes à Chouihiya centre

Today, it’s time for the association to step up. I want to build an innovative center, dedicated to promoting a local and green economy. It will be a place where hope is possible. For all those graduated and dynamic young people who can’t find a job and change country to try building a better future for themselves. For all those impoverished young people who have ambition but no means to envision a different future from their parents’. For every man and woman willing to contribute to the improvement of their life and their environment, or willing to act for their community.

For all those great people who need a little help to kick off their project or take charge of their own future, I want to build this place.

Find out more about Faiza’s venture and invest in her vision: http://girltank.org/campaigns/an-awesome-way-to-re-take-a-polluted-city-in-morocco/ 

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