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Cablegate: Mepi 4th Quarter Update for Morocco

VZCZCXRO3698
RR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHRB #1025/01 2981624
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241624Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9277
INFO RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 4373
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 9730
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 4911
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 0365
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 2444
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0574
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 1966

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RABAT 001025

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/MAG, NEA/PI AND DAS KPATTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV SCUL EFIN KMPI MO
SUBJECT: MEPI 4TH QUARTER UPDATE FOR MOROCCO

REF: A) 07 Rabat 1724

1. Summary: This cable highlights the MEPI programs and
initiatives undertaken in Morocco from July 1 - September 30. During
the quarter the Women in Technology (WIT) program was launched.
Highlights from existing programs included activities by the
Advancing Learning and Employability for a Better Future (ALEF),
MEPI Alumni Network and the American Bar Association (ABA).
Implementers are partnering with local NGOs at the grassroots level
to support numerous programs committed to reform in the four MEPI
pillars. End Summary.

-------------------------
LAUNCH OF THE WIT PROGRAM
-------------------------
2. Minister of Social Development, Family and Solidarity Nouzka
Skalli officially launched the WIT Morocco program in Rabat on July
9, 2008. Also attending the event were representatives form the
U.S. Embassy, Microsoft Morocco, several members of the media and
Moroccan NGOs. The WIT program in Morocco established partnerships
with local actors of development that will assist in implementing
the program in three main regions: Oriental (Oujda-Jerrada), Center
(Azrou-Ein Leuh- Timahdit) and South (Marrakech Tensift El Haouz).
WIT was designed by The Institute of International Education (IIE)
West Coast Center to build the capacity of organizations serving
women in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United
Arab Emirates, and Yemen. In Morocco, the WIT program is hosted by
Tanmia, a Moroccan NGO based in Rabat.
3. During the month of July, WIT Morocco organized Trainings of
Trainers on Microsoft's Unlimited Potential Curriculum (UP),
Professional Development (PD) and Business Planning for
Sustainability (BPS). Trainers were introduced to the various
methods of operating their centers and taught how to use their
resources on a cost recovery model. The WIT trainings contain two
fields: The Information Technology and Communication (ICT) training
(based on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program) includes an
introduction to computers, file and document management, word
processing, as well as training on Excel, Access and PowerPoint.
The second area provides training on professional development,
through various modules including teamwork, conflict resolution,
communication, inclusion to the job market, and leadership.
---------------
ALEF ACTIVITIES
---------------

4. The 4th quarter marked the transition from closure of the
original ALEF literacy program and initiating activities under the
MEPI awarded follow-on grant in July 2008. ALEF is soon expected to
submit their final report for the previous grant. The report is
currently in the final editing stage after ALEF determined it was
necessary to conduct field evaluations to clarify questions on
previous results in one province. Some of the highlights of the
final report include findings that the innovative Passerelle
approach integrating pre-literacy program in local languages, Darija
and Amazighe, resulted in increased levels of learning, reduced
dropout rates, improved individual empowerment and greater cost
effectiveness. The latter is due to the attainment of an equal (or
higher) level of learning with fewer class hours.

5. The major activities of the quarter following the signing of the
new MEPI grant agreement included the development of the final work
plan and the agreement on and initiation of key planning activities
for the upcoming year with the National Office for Literacy (DLCA).
Specific activities included: development of overall strategic plan
for 2008-09; completion and approval of annual work plan with DLCA
and MEPI; selection of six regions (two new ones) to participate in
program activities for 2008-2009, in collaboration with DLCA;
printing (by DLCA, at their expense) of 5000 copies of trainer's
guide; meetings with DLCA staff to prepare for the start-up of the
new literacy cycle in November 2008 and for the first training of
trainers workshops scheduled for October 2008; coordination and
planning workshop conducted with regional provincial representatives
of DLCA; support to regional and provincial DLCA staff in the
development of the action plans for the integration of the
Paserelles (Pre-literacy programs) into their literacy programs and
training of trainers activities. Another noteworthy event was the
participation of an ALEF associate from the DLCA in an international
literacy conference in Nepal at which she presented the
ALEF-supported Passerelles model and results.

------------------------------
MEPI ALUMNI NETWORK ACTIVITIES

RABAT 00001025 002 OF 002


------------------------------

6. During the month of July, a group of MEPI Alumni took part in a
creative initiative that brought tangible change to Rhamna in
southern Morocco - one of the country's least developed areas.
Through the efforts of a coalition of MEPI partner organizations
including Association Femmes Artisannes, Tanmia, and Association
Marocaine d'Appui ` la Promotion de la
Petite Entreprise (AMAPPE), as well as ambitious individuals from
the MEPI Alumni community and various sponsors, the Caravan for
Women Economic Empowerment project was created. The project
assisted Rhamna's local population in developing new sources of
income and economic opportunities.

7. A group of Rhamna Women along with a number of MEPI Alumni
volunteers participated in an exchange visit to the north of
Morocco. They visited successful women cooperatives and
associations as well as fair trade boutiques. There was an amazing
exchange of knowledge and information between the northern and
southern women. The Rhamna women were amazed at how these women
turned a simple skill into a real source of income. After returning
back to the region and receiving cooperatives, marketing, and
communication skills training from a field expert, two women were
selected to represent the caravan at the national exhibition of
social economy in Kenitra. These women brought their products as
well as their colleagues' and met important actors that were
interested in helping them to further develop their cooperatives.

8. On July 19th, more than 150 people representing local civil
society, government, and business leaders attended a Rhamna Women
led conference in Benguerir. For the first time, members of the
Rhamna Womens group stood in front of a crowd and shared how this
caravan opened doors and enabled them to become women leaders ready
to make a change in their community. At the end of the conference,
the Rhamna women were given awards certificates as an appreciation
of their efforts.

--------------
ABA ACTIVITIES
--------------

9. In July, Judge Thomas Wallitsch conducted a workshop for Moroccan
judge-trainers of the Institute Superieure de la Magistrature (ISM).
This is the judicial training institute for Morocco aimed at
defining the relevant ethics curriculum and identifying topics that
will be subjects of comprehensive legal case studies. The
curriculum developed in this workshop formed the basis for a
following two-day training session held on September 25-26 led by
Judge Karen Klein and conducted for trainers of the ISM. The Board
of Directors of the national judges association ("Hassania") held a
final planning meeting on September 26 to prepare for the national
conference at which the Charter of Judicial Ethics will be adopted.
The national conference is scheduled to take place on October 24.
The ABA assisted the Hassania in the creation of a web site that
includes information concerning the Hassania, its structure,
statute, and regional offices. The ABA also assisted the Hassania
in the creation of an informational brochure and newsletter
concerning the Hassania's activities that is intended to improve its
image and internal communication.

10. A detailed description of MEPI programs in Morocco can be found
on the Mission unclassified Internet web page at www.usembassy.ma.


JACKSON

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