AFER Women's Association Homlunch
Over the years there has been significant progress in support for women’s rights in Morocco. Women are being welcomed into the community decision making process, and are receiving increased access to education. However, despite these advancements, rural women and girls still face challenges including: higher school drop out rates, high maternal mortality due to a lack of access to heath care providers, domestic violence, and discrimination in society. Organizations that are promoting women’s rights, gender equality, and an access into the formal economy are the way forward.
Planeterra and G Adventures provided seed funding for the first hospitality program run by local partner AFER (Association Des Femmes et Enfants Ruraux) to develop the skills of rural women in Morocco. Planeterra helped AFER to develop the training program, provide funds to renovate their kitchen and dining area, provide kitchen equipment and resources, as well funding to outfit the administrative space with air conditioners and fans.
More than 3,000 G Adventures travellers visit the rural village of M’Haya for the AFER homlunch, and receive a warm welcome from a group of five women who serve up a delicious traditional lunch. This partnership helps support the long-term job development of women in rural Morocco, with additional funds supporting health and education programs for a network of over 700 women and children.
Wafae is the President and one of seven co-founders of AFER in M’Haya, and has worked as a nurse for over 14 years. She has witnessed first-hand the growing need for accessible healthcare for women and children in rural districts. It was always in Wafae’s nature to volunteer in her community, so when the Mayor asked her to volunteer full-time, Wafae was honored to start developing this project. She is currently working with the local government to develop laws that will strengthen and protect children who are at risk of exploitation on the streets of Morocco.
With the added income from AFER’s homlunch program, the association is able to inject more money into their community initiatives. This includes providing assistance to those living with disabilities in the area, running a local ambulance service, and empowering 19 literacy groups with lessons in French and Arabic, and five sewing cooperatives for rural women.