Who we are

Welcome to the Amal Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through restaurant training and job placement.

Amal’s ultimate goal is personal transformation and developing job and life skills for our trainees to eventually achieve economic and social stability.

Our program offers the trainees a platform where they can enhance their capacities and learn new skills. Our trainees have five 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, a single mother or orphaned
  • are motivated to learn and work
  • are ready to take advantage of the tools available at Amal to improve their skills.

When trainees are selected they start a six-month training program to learn all aspects of the restaurant industry in order to secure a job. They will go through different kitchen stations to learn essentials such as salads, sauces, desserts, cooking, baking, cleaning and serving. In addition, they will attend classes to learn hygiene, security, service, French, English and other soft skills.

The trainees will go to an internship after six months of training. At completion, Amal finds the graduates jobs in restaurants, hotels, riads or private homes that will allow them to be financially independent.

Amal takes care of living expenses during the whole period of the training, provided that the trainee respects the regulations and discipline of Amal.

Amal does not ask the trainees to pay anything for the program, before or after their time at Amal. Amal does not get paid by anyone to do this work. Amal is a self-sustained social entity that strives to make positive change in women’s lives.

Our History

Amal was founded in late 2012 by Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen, as a response to the difficulties faced by many women from disadvantaged backgrounds including widows, divorced or single mothers, orphans, women who have worked as child maids, and women who have had little or no education.

What began as a hopeful idea with a few women baking and selling pastries has now turned into a structured organization with two training centers.

Our Visionary

Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen
Nora Fitzgerald Belahcen Founding President
Nora is an American-Moroccan who first conceived of Amal due to her desire to help the extremely poor women of Marrakech. She grew up in Morocco and is devoted to improving her community.
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Support Us

 Amal accepts classes of 30 women every six months for training, employs full-time program and kitchen staff, and offers breakfast, lunch, school lunch and cooking classes daily to the public. These activities help fund all the work that Amal does.

Support our endeavor by eating a meal or taking a cooking class at our restaurant, open 7 days a week, and meet our trainees and chefs who can serve you delicious Moroccan tajines and international cuisine!

You can also offer to share your knowledge with our trainees. Whether in the kitchen or in the classroom, your knowledge can be a great addition to our trainees’ learning experience. Please submit a résumé and a proposal of what you can teach/share.

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