Jewelry Makers in Morocco

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Jewelry Makers in Morocco

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OFoundation discovered a major problem in the jewelry sector in Morocco: Affected individuals work 12 hours a day in terrible working conditions with only one day of rest per month. These hard workers are extremely underpaid and many children are involved in this exploiting business. OFoundation sees the need for many improvements, including better living conditions, fair and regular incomes as well as improved working conditions. In order to target these issues, we have set up a social enterprise in Morocco. This franchise project

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facilitates locals to produce new jewelry items with beautiful designs and exquisite handmade quality, made out of silver and being exported to the Netherlands. As a location we picked Tiznit, a small village with a long history of silver forges. There, we collaborate with Ahmed, a local goldsmith who teaches the staff of the newly established social enterprise about his field of profession – silver.

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One of our first employees Hajiba is a 22 year-old girl without a profound education. Hajiba lives with 15 family members in a house of only 80 square meters. Due to lack of space, she does not have access to a single room but has to share all house facilities. Her family is constantly suffering hunger and poverty and cannot secure sufficient food supply. Because only one family member is employed there is a chronical lack of financial resources to support everyone. OFoundation became aware of the situation Hajiba and her family are in and began to mobilize help. Meanwhile, we have given her the opportunity to start a company, enabling her to generate her own regulated and above-average income. Through Hajiba, her entire family benefits. She now attends weekly English classes

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and leadership trainings to further support her career and own business. This is facilitated by Speak Up, a benevolent organization in the same region. In cooperation with Speak Up, Hajiba receives help to build a stable future for herself and her family. Generally, young women such as Hajiba rarely pursue such career paths as they are not offered the opportunities to do so. By means of encouraging and strengthening her in her own pursue, she is able to develop profound skills and contacts that support her local business.

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Learning Outcomes

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Our project in Morocco has taught us that status differences and gender inequality also play a major role in the success of planned interventions. In Mumbai, we worked together with a women who we offered help setting up her own business. This kind of female autonomy and independence is often not culturally tolerated and accepted within the lowest part of the local social hierarchy. At first, the woman’s family agreed to the shared goal of establishing a Micro Franchise Business and accepted that their daughter would take charge of her own economic success. However, after

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OFoundation has helped to establish this business and set up an appropriate working environment,  they eventually denied allowance for their daughter to work as a self-employed and empowered woman. Such developments are culturally bound and are to be considered when aiming to improve female empowerment in developing countries.

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Challenges

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In our Projects, we have faced many challenges.

Here you can find more specific information about the experiences we have made and future advise.

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