Since January 2004, Morocco has adopted a new Family Code. As of that date, the Moroccan woman has, the same way as men, the status of head of the family. But beyond social recognition, improving the status of women also requires financial empowerment. Therefore, since 2006 the Zakoura Foundation has expanded its microcredit activities to training for women’s right in Marocco, before merging in May 2009 with the People’s Bank Foundation for microcredit. The new entity, the Foundation Zakoura Chabi, advocates for banking services for the poorest Moroccan customers.
- To fight against poverty and to develop a sense of civic responsibility in combining financial services to non-financial services.
The foundation strives to create a link between granting of loans to women with projects and teaching of the Family code. It showcases the skills of women and promotes their economic activity. To this end, it receives financial support from the French Development Agency (AFD).
Financial services of the foundation:
The foundation awards 3 types of loans
- The solidarity loan, inspired by the Grameen Bank, is the first financial service of the foundation. Specifically, project leaders should form a group of 5 people who endorse each other. Refunds are made during a weekly meeting with a loan officer.
- The individual loan is intended to create micro-enterprises in rural or tourist areas. The foundation has also launched in three other regions the “livestock” loan whose repayment terms are aligned on particular generating income cycles within this activity.
- The loan for improvement of living conditions allows Moroccan families to have access to essential services like water and electricity.
Non-financial services of the foundation:
The foundation launched in 2002 the programme “Education and Civics”. It organises free training sessions at the end of repayment or disbursement of loans meetings. For example, in 2005 awareness campaigns have been conducted on citizenship (rights of women, and gender and equality at work/in the family; teaching of the new Family Code organised in partnership with local women’s groups, journalists and lawyers; and the Health Code: AIDS Prevention, diabetes, blood donation, hygiene).
- 1.8 million loans totalling an approximate amount of 312 million Euros. Ranging between 45 to 450 Euros
- Repayment rate of 99.7%
- 230000 beneficiaries
- Creation or development of small enterprises where women play an important role