Vocational Training Program Provides Skills and Jobs

The Barzilai Foundation is collaborating with The Cheshire Home in Tangier, Morocco, to provide vocational training for residents looking for a pathway to income. In low-income communities, employment opportunities can be scarce, and even a small amount of income can mean the difference in a family between a child going to school versus having to work, or between having access to things like medical care and basic nutrition versus nothing.

The Cheshire Home in Tangier has long hosted an ad hoc training courses for local residents on sewing and tailoring. Participants not only learn new skillsets, but create clothing and accessory inventory during the course that is then sold in local markets.

In addition to providing equipment and supplies for the program, the Barzilai Foundation is bringing insights on the potential for this course from vocational training work in other low-income communities. The revamped program will continue to offer tailoring and sewing training, while also providing job placement or independent contracting support. Participants will learn valuable skills, create inventory, get connected with income-generating positions, and receive their own sewing machine after program completion.

Our first cohort of six students are already seeing significant success, and the program has already helped secure contracts that are generating income for two of the participants.

“In communities that struggle financially, there are not abundant ways to earn income. Your desire to work alone is not enough if you do not have a trade or a degree,” commented Brandon Sosa, CEO of Barzilai Foundation. “For individuals who were in homemaker roles and now need to support their families, or who didn’t finish their education because as teenagers they need to work to support their families, there is often no pathway for them to earn money and provide. We are giving them that pathway.”

The importance of that income cannot be overstated; revenue from vocational skills like these can be the factor that keeps individuals and their families out of poverty.

“This program allows individuals to benefit from support resources in a meaningful way and facilitates the economic empowerment of underskilled individuals, especially women without significant education, and their families,” said Hind Akri, Program Administrator for the Barzilai Foundation. “It strengthens their financial well-being, by creating opportunities that generate income. The program is reducing poverty and vulnerability one household at a time.”