In 2013 RifCom launched an integrated educational and vocational training program in the rural village of Kliaa in the Rif Mountains of Northern Morocco. As a result of that program, 25 young women graduated a seven-month training course in sewing and dressmaking. To capitalise on the skills gained from their sewing course, the women, with assistance from RifCom and their local association, have set up a sewing cooperative to create a better source of income and a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Ordinarily the women derive their income from low paid, back-breaking agricultural work. It is common in the rural regions of the Rif for women to have little or no formal education. The rural schools are primary level and are sometimes difficult to reach due to poor access during bad weather conditions. Also, with home chores taking preference to education, children quickly fall behind in their school work.
Additionally, to advance to secondary school at 12 years of age, students need to leave their homes and reside in boarding houses to attend the high schools in the larger towns. This is not an option for most girls living in rural areas of the Rif due to poverty and cultural outlook. As a result, most women in the rural regions of the Rif are illiterate with few options in life and have limited resources to break their cycle of poverty
Benizid School opened in autumn 2015 as the result of RifCom finance and working alongside local associations and Bab Taza local council. It replaced a crumbling and almost unusable local primary school and gave the local children access to a modern building in which to receive the first part of their education.
In October 2019 RifCom organized an amazing inter-village football tournament for the youngsters of the Rif Mountains. Hosted by the rural village of Amatras (near Bab Taza) in the heart of the area, it proved to be a wonderful sporting event providing fun for over 120 underprivileged children, with 8 boys teams and 2 girls teams participating. The event also provided an opportunity for the RifCom team to introduce themselves to new communities and enabled them to present simple educational messages concerning health, dental hygiene and wildlife conservation.
None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the event sponsors. The organization included providing transport and lunch for the teams, together with a tournament medal and goodie bag (containing educational gifts, toothbrush and toothpaste) for each team member. The project also contributed towards the renovation of the football pitch surface.
The amazing community of Ametrasse welcomed us deep in the Rif Mountains where they had worked day and night to clear two 5-a-side pitches on the mountainside of rocks and stones.
The RifCom Team brought new football kit and boots, as well as dental items and support, for the twelve teams of boys and girls, with their brilliantly supportive communities joining all together in a truly wonderful celebration of not just sport, but life!
We, the RifCom Team, went to give but we received so much more. Particular thanks to Amin Boughalad and Arron Mohamed.