Imane and Zeinab
Strength is in cooperation

LAHA: an initiative for her!

Imane Akhezzane from High Atlas Foundation in Marrakech, Morocco, shares thoughts on her Tandem journey so far. Imane was working in Tandem with Zeinab Mohamed Mostafa from Bait Elfarha in Aswan, Egypt.

Our Tandem story started when we met during the Partner forum in October 2020.

We are Zeinab and Imane, two ladies from different countries, with different cultures and backgrounds but with the same vision: we want to empower rural women for a better future and our countries.

Zeinab is from Egypt and Imane is from Morocco, both countries are giving nowadays more importance to the gender approach and women are taking more and more chances and opportunities in different domains and on different levels. But in the countryside, we still unfortunately find women who are neglicted, vulnerable, and forgotten, because of so many reasons, among which: culture, traditions, and the social context.

Let’s say something short about the common characteristics of the contexts in rural areas in both countries to help you get the big picture:
The majority of men go to the city to work in buildings or in big factories, so the ladies have to assume all the responsibilities of the house, the housekeeping, racing, and breeding.
The schools are so far, the young girls drop out of school in very early age because their parents are scared of the risks on the road and want to protect them.

When a girl is 16 or 17 years old or even less, parents decide to find a husband for their daughter, to send her to the city with her husband, or to keep her in the same village watching the house of her husband, doing the above-mentioned tasks and taking care of the husband’s parents.
This is the circle in which the rural girls/women spend their whole life, which is sad and shameful, especially in the 21st century.

After partnering up during the Partner forum, we set up our plan which aimed to select two groups of women/young ladies in both countries. We had a goal to train them and help them launch a small project. At the very beginning, we were hoping to travel to each other and meet with the participants from both countries, share with them our modest knowledge and facilitate the conversation between them in order to help them become independent by knowing their visions and learning more about themselves. But, with COVID-19 pandemic this was not possible. Zeinab did not manage to come to Morocco and Imane wasn’t able to travel to Egypt.

In order to move forward we decided to work separately with the participants: we facilitated the workshops and helped women launch and develop their small businesses. In Morocco, a well was digged for a female fruit tree nusery and this one was furnished. In Egypt, a center was launched to host women who want to learn sewing and work in order to generate income. And in both countries two individual initiatives were funded thanks to the savings from placement budgets.

This collaboration was not a source of hope for the participants, but also for us as individuals and for our organizations who got to know each other and learn from each other.


Thank you Tandem for this journey and we look forward to a new adventure with you.