Friday, April 24, 2009

Let's Build a Women's Center!

Donate here!

As you know, my sister is currently serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco. She has been there since March 2008 and will be serving in Morocco until June 2010 (it is a 27 month commitment). I was lucky enough to be able to visit her in March over my spring break and I saw first hand the needs of her village (check out the wonderful pictures in earlier posts!).

Below you will see an email regarding her current project. She has been working with the women of her village to discover their needs and also with many men in government and national agencies (in an area where woman are second class citizens) to get the resources necessary for this.

It is truly amazing that she has received the commitment that she has from the Moroccan government and agencies. Now she just needs our help! Please read her description below (it is much more informative than the one included on the website!) and consider making a personal donation and/or also passing this along to friends, family and co-workers. This is also a great opportunity for businesses to make corporate donations. Fundraisers at schools and churches are another opportunity to raise funds for this much needed project that is going to be made possible by our very own Erin Atwell!

It is easy for individuals to donate online. You can also get a group together and have one person make the donation for the group.

Above is the direct link to the website for donation

In addition, her blog address is included at the bottom of the email.
If you have any questions, I would be happy to try to assist in answering them!

-----The Email Message from Erin-----

Dear Friends and Family,
I hope this email finds everyone in good health and enjoying Spring as I am
here in Morocco.

Last June, when I first arrived to my site as a Health Peace Corps
Volunteer, I did a "needs assessment" with the women of my community,
Talbrjte, to see where I could fit in as a new volunteer.
The 30 women I interviewed overwhelmingly expressed a desire to have a
women's community center. After six months of discussing the idea with
various community members, I came to the conclusion that building a women's
center is a worthwhile, sustainable project. Since then, I have met weekly
with 14 girls from the community who are assisting in the design and
implementation of this project.

Fortunately, the women immediately received support from local associations
and the local government. After much discussion as to how to best meet the
community's needs, the objectives of the women's center were identified.
None of the women, and few of the girls in this community were allowed to
attend school. Consequently, the Talbrjte Women's Center will include a
literacy classroom, staffed by the local schoolteacher, where the women can
learn to read and write in a safe environment.

In addition, the women expressed a strong desire to learn a handicraft that
will one day enable them to bring in an income. The local government is
donating the necessary materials and expertise to teach these women skills
such as embroidery and weaving.

As a health volunteer, I am acutely aware of the health situation in the
community. Because there is no transportation available to the local health
clinic, many women in the community are unable to take their children to the
doctor for vaccinations and illnesses. The same applies for the women
themselves. For this reason, the Ministry of Health has agreed to donate
the time and equipment necessary to have a functioning health room in the
Talbrjte Women's Center.

Finally, this women's center will go beyond helping these women to read,
write, and be more healthy. The women's center will empower them to take
control of their lives and their socioeconomic situations.

The local association and local government are contributing both financially
and in-kind. Their contributions make up 43% of the total project cost.
However, this project still needs $16,902.06 in order to be built.
I hope you will consider making a contribution; even the smallest
contribution will help make the Talbrjte Women's Center a reality.
In order to donate you can click on this link:

Or go to: -> Donate Now -> Donate to a Volunteer Project -> search
by my last name, Atwell, or by country, Morocco.

On the project page, you will be able to see how much has been donated and
how much is still necessary to fully fund this project.

If you know any individuals or group who may be interested in seeing this
project completed, please forward him/her the link.

I cannot express into words the impact the successful completion of this
project will have on the lives of the women in my community.
Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.
Erin Atwell
Peace Corps
Morocco '08-'10
Health Sector
Ps I've posted 2 photos of the girls who are involved in the women's center
preparation on my blog

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