Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dh10 000 raised for Women's Centre in Fez Medina

The recent Diva's Dinner celebration of the 100th International Women's Day was a huge success, reports Vanessa Bonnin, one of the organisers. More than 50 Fez women turned out in their most glamourous garb to eat, drink, chat, celebrate but most importantly, dance the night away at the Majestic Restaurant

The dinner was a charity event with proceeds going to the IPDF Women's Centre in Batha, and towards a forthcoming exhibition, also in honour of IWD, called Cycle, showing in the autumn. A raffle with prizes donated from generous local businesses also helped to raise funds for the IPDF.

Event organisers Vanessa Bonnin and Beccie Eve were delighted with the response from the local community.

"The total money raised exceeded all our expectations," Ms Bonnin said. "We collected almost Dh10,000 for the Women's Centre and almost Dh2000 for the Cycle exhibition.

"We were really pleased with how many women supported the event and it was wonderful to see everyone come together and celebrate women's achievements in the past 100 years. We've come a long way and the energy on the night was so positive, it made me proud to be part of such an amazing group of women."

Vanessa Bonnin and Beccie Eve


Possible uses for the money raised were discussed recently between the organisers and Laure Fonteneau, coordinator of the Centre. It was decided that the most pressing need was the refurbishment of a room for the creche facility, which is currently a damp, cold, windowless space.

"The women and children who use the shelter facility at the Centre are unable to use the space that was originally designed as a creche and learning area as it's unsuitable," Ms Bonnin said.
"But if we remodel it and add better educational tools then we will have created a warm and bright area where the children have room to play and learn in a more spacious and comfortable environment.

"If the children are well-taken care of then the mothers can focus on their vocational training and work harder towards becoming independent."

The Cycle exhibition also received a boost towards its implementation. Exhibition organiser Jess Stephens said:

“Enticing the traditional into the now, Cycle is an exhibition that will bring together female artists from all over the world to present their works and show their strengths in a creative and artistic field.

"Incorporating performances and film screenings in its two-week program, Cycle will celebrate women's creativity and enhance the power of women globally and now.”

A percentage of the art sales will also go to the IPDF Women's Centre, thereby continuing the support of the Centre that was begun through the International Women's Day 'Diva's Dinner'.

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