May 23, 2014

2013 Moroccan AEIF Winner Mobilizes Entrepreneurship


[uplifting background music]
[fresh stream water running]

Ali Aaouine (2013 AEIF Winner): I was born and raised in Imouzzer
Greenside Development Foundation has an important role in Imouzzer-Kandar
When I met my friend and partner 
Bo Ghirardelli, a Peace Corps volunteer
it was during the period of the Arab Spring
We did research in the region and found out that the young people in our region
have certain competences and talent but they need coaching and mentoring. 

So, we decided to create an association 
which will support the youth of Imouzzer-Kandar
through training, mentoring, and funding. 
Our association goal was to serve the youth of the region
and we were looking for funding for our project. 
I hear about the AEIF grant from the U.S. Embassy in Morocco.
When I came back from my IVLP program, 
I stayed in touched with U.S. Embassy staff. 

My IVLP experience had a great influence on my personal and professional career.
I wanted to share my experience with my community
and with youth of this region who have fewer opportunities. 

The AEIF grant is a State Department grant 
given to alumni of USG exchange programs
to help realize their project ideas. 
It is also an opportunity for alumni to connect
and build relationships between other alumni from Morocco
and internationally. 

Fatima (Store Manager): I wouldn't know how to manage the store,
or how to perform sales and deal with customers and dealers
without the help of the Greenside Development Foundation. 

Nadia (Button Maker):Just like any other cooperative in Morocco, we need support. 
Without Greenside Development Foundation, our cooperative wouldn't exist. 
We thank them very much and we hope that this support lasts. 

Fatima-nezhra (Goat Farmer):Greenside has cultivated and strengthened the entrepreneurial spirit among us
and provided help and inspiration to local youth
here to kick-off their own projects. 
Through microcredit for income generating activities we increasingly
become more independent and entrepreneurs.