Amal’s ultimate goal is personal transformation and the development of job and life skills for our trainees to achieve economic and social stability. Our program offers the trainees a platform where they can enhance their capacities and learn new skills. Amal takes care of each trainee’s living expenses during the whole period of the training, provided that the trainee respects the regulations and discipline of Amal.

Who is eligible?

Amal is focused on uplifting women from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of our trainees face social stigma, rejection or disability that impedes their ability to earn a living to support themselves and their children. Amal trainees share these qualities:

  • are between 18 and 35 years old
  • have no income or very low income
  • are in a difficult social status, such as divorced, widowed, single mother or orphaned
  • have little or no education
  • are motivated to learn and work
  • are ready to take advantage of the tools available at Amal to improve their skills.

Amal also trains women with cognitive and physical disabilities. Women who are deaf, mute, and who have Down’s Syndrome are successfully enrolled in Amal’s training program. As of March 2018, Amal has worked with 198 trainees.

Orientation

At the beginning of their six-month course, trainees meet each other for the first time and begin to form bonds that will aid them throughout their time at Amal. During three immersive days, trainees learn the spirit and values of Amal, commit to the rules and expectations of the program, participate in team building activities to boost their self-confidence and complete a health evaluation to work in food preparation.

Instruction

The six-month training program covers all aspects of the restaurant industry, from kitchen stations to service, with the purpose of gaining employable skills. Components of the training include:

  • Moroccan cuisine
  • international foods
  • Moroccan pastries
  • international desserts and pastries
  • service
  • pantry and stock management
  • dishwashing and cleaning

The training is rigorous. Trainees learn from fiche technique, specifications that meet an international standard for recipe preparation. Each component of training lasts three weeks, and culminates in an evaluation with the instructor of that section. Each trainee has a daily assignment to learn a recipe or concept, and then meets with the instructor again at the end of each day to receive study materials to further that day’s lesson.

Some trainees arrive at Amal illiterate, and learning to read is part of their training. For them, Amal offers an audio format for their study materials and fiche technique.

The six-month training includes learning many soft skills, too. Knowledge of French and English is valued in Morocco’s hospitality industry. Concepts of hygiene, first aid, safety and kitchen economics are woven throughout the training. In addition, Amal partners with local organisations and international professionals to offer special classes for our trainees.

Internship

After passing the evaluation for each section and successfully completing the training, trainees are placed in internships. Amal partners with restaurants and hospitality businesses to give our trainees real world experience in a professional workplace. Amal monitors each internship closely and provides feedback to the trainee for improvement and success.

Graduation

At the completion of an internship, our trainees are no longer trainees! Amal’s graduation ceremony confers a certificate of training that recognizes the work each woman has put into learning valuable skills and changing her own future. The certificate of training from Amal is accredited by AIH Marrakech, the Association de l’Industrie de l’hôtellerie Région Marrakech Safi, and signifies a mark of excellence for the graduate.

Employment

Amal graduates leave the training as capable, skilled women ready for work in professional kitchens, restaurants and riads. Amal arranges job placements for graduates among our partner businesses with an 86 percent placement rate, giving the business a highly skilled worker and giving the woman the opportunity for financial and personal independence.

Transformation

“The trainees are trusted with responsibility in an environment where they don’t feel judged,” says Oumaima Mhijir, referring to the social stigma many of Amal’s trainees face. Over the course of training, the women enrolled at Amal transform personally as their skills accumulate. Their self-confidence grows remarkably as they master the exacting standards of a fast-paced kitchen and learn how to interact with diners. The supportive environment of Amal nurtures these changes. Trainees know that Amal is here to change their future, to give them the freedom to dream.

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