The US First Lady, Jill Biden, praised the Moroccan King Mohammed VI for empowering women and youth, adding that under his leadership, Morocco is encouraging reforms to empower women and youth, reflecting shared priorities between their countries.
Biden said the US is grateful for its "longstanding partnership and friendship with Morocco," praising Princess Lalla Hasna for her gracious reception upon her arrival in Marrakech.
The First Lady indicated that Princess Lalla Hasnaa informed her about the efforts to "educate children and young people on the significance of protecting our climate."
"I was inspired by her passion, and I'm excited to take her story back to the United States to look for more opportunities to learn from each other. Because our world is tied together in immeasurable ways, that common ground is where the foundation of our shared future must be laid,” she said.
She expressed her gratitude to King Mohammed VI for the reception, describing Morocco as "one the US oldest friends."
The First Lady was accompanied by her daughter, Ashley Biden, and sister, Bobby Jacobs, on a tour to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe to promote and improve the living conditions of women and youth worldwide.
It is Biden's second visit to Morocco since November 2014, during which she accompanied then-Vice President Joe Biden during his participation in the fifth session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which was held in Marrakech.
On Sunday, Jill Biden visited Ennakhil Association, a nonprofit organization in Marrakech that supports women who have been victims of gender-based violations.
Upon her arrival at the headquarters, Biden was greeted by Zakia Mrini, the Founder and Secretary General of Ennakhil Association, the US Ambassador Puneet Talwar, his wife Sarosh Sattar, and the US Consul General in Casablanca, Lawrence Randolph.
Biden toured the various facilities and met with the staff and participants of two programs funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The women who participated in vocational training provided by the Association visited the display, which included cosmetic products, embroidery, and sewing products.
Before taking a souvenir photo, they presented the First Lady with a traditional dress.
Ennakhil Association, founded by Mrini in 1997, is a non-governmental organization that defends women's rights and provides vocational training for vulnerable victims. In 1998, the Association established the first listening center for women victims of gender-based violence outside the Rabat and Casablanca regions.
Since then, the Association has provided counseling to more than 19,000 women and more than 2,000 child victims of violence.
Ennakhil Association supported nearly 2,000 gender-based violence cases in the courts in cooperation with other organizations, including the competent authorities, the judiciary, health care providers, and the media.
In September 2016, USAID-Morocco allocated $500,000 to Ennakhil, which helped the Association expand its work as an intermediate support organization, mentoring other civil society organizations and working effectively with the government on behalf of citizens.
Through this program, the Ennakhil Association trained 30 partner civil society organizations.
In July 2020, USAID-Morocco granted the Ennakhil Association more than $320,000 in additional funding to combat "COVID-19" to address the rise in cases of gender-based violence in the Marrakech-Safi region.
With the funding, the Association established a solidarity restaurant and a training center for women victims of gender-based violence. It has also developed an online platform to support these victims and their families.