Imzouren is located in northern Morocco in the province of Al Hoceima. The province has a population of approximately 400,000.
Families in the region make a living from fishing, farming or working in tourism. However, this northern region has historically been one of the poorest in the country, with up to 60% of inhabitants deprived of basic needs such as adequate housing.
Since 1988, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Imzouren.
The unemployment rate among young people aged 15 to 24 is relatively high. Of the 6 million young people aged 15 to 24, the number of those who neither are in education, nor in employment, nor in vocational training – commonly known as NEETs – has increased to 1.7 million in 2019. Young people are key players in economic and social development, so promoting their participation is crucial. To reduce gender inequality, it is important to ensure that young women in particular have access to training and employment. Currently, the unemployment rate of those who have completed vocational education and training is higher for women (36.5%) than for men (19.3%).
Although Morocco has recently improved access to contraception and reduced maternal and infant mortality, women still have difficulties asserting their rights over their bodies.
Single mothers continue to face difficulties in some parts of society. In 2018, the World Health Organisation recorded 27,000 single mothers who had become pregnant unintentionally in Morocco. These mothers and children need additional support to stay together.