President of an NGO

When she lost her father at the age of three, she immediately set up family and social assistance to help her mother who was a young widow in charge of two daughters. From this founding experience, Aïcha Lahmamdia, better known by her surname Ech-Channa, drew a powerful sense of solidarity. Her childhood was marked by the courage of her mother: "While some people wanted to withdraw from school at the age of twelve, my mother who had got married a second time, to a dignitary, sent me to live with my aunt so that I continue my schooling”, she says; at the age of sixteen, she began as medical and social secretary to serve the lepers and people suffering from tuberculosis before earning a nursing degree. In parallel to this experience, she volunteered at the Child Protection and Health Education League. She develops extreme empathy for those called "ould el haram", "children of sin" and abandoned single mothers. In the mid-1960s, she joined the Family Planning League and, in 1985, created the “Solidarité feminine” NGO, which welcomes single mothers and mothers in difficulty and offers training to them: "It is a matter of empowering these young women to prevent the abandonment of children”, she says. For more than thirty years, Aïcha Ech-Channa has been working in the service of this very sensitive issue. "I give to society what it has given me", likes to say humbly this Moroccan icon of social and humanitarian action, who goes on to say: “People often ask me where do I get my energy from? I love talking to people”, she says. The ardent activist always had the gift of speech, the one that convinces and relieves. Aïcha Lahmamdia has received numerous national and international awards in recognition for her efforts that she makes with her NGO. The repeated attacks of the ultra-conservative religious people did not succeed in making her give up the fight. When, in 2000, the question of laying down the arms arose, His Majesty King Mohammed VI encouraged her to continue. "I leave it to God," she said, just as she did when she learned she had cancer, a test she overcame.


100 Femmes

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