Argan Care

Argan Care was established in 2013 in Norway by founder, Benedicte Westre Skog after she had finished writing her thesis (MSc International Development) on the socio-economic perspective of women’s cooperatives in southwestern Morocco. The thesis in itself was the first of its kind, being not much other in depth studies on the socio-economic side of the topic. Benedicte focused on women empowerment and the consequences employment have had on the women’s family, especially their children. It was discovered that although employment for women have had a very positive impact on women’s self worth, being able to generate some income to the family and contributing to society, unfortunately, some children now have to stay home to watch out fortheir younger siblings while mum is at work. Benedicte spentmuch time in Morocco visiting lots of cooperatives and helping women with their work and she quickly knew she wanted to do more. Benedicte has always wanted to work in development and do whatever she can to make an impact in the world while she is there. With the research she did in Morocco, she came to understand the bigger picture and the problems that needattention in order to improve. With the passion for these communities and the connections she had made in the field, she decided to do more. It wasn’t until a couple of years later Argan Care trulygot started when they receivedthe opportunity to work withsome of the top experts in the Argan forest field in Morocco: Association Ibn Al Baytar, chaired by Dr. Zoubida Charrouf.

Main focus areas

The Argan Care foundation focuses on protecting and sustaining the endangered Argan Forest, women empowerment and education.

About two million people live in and around the Argan forest area and depend on the forest for their livelihoods. Argan oil production has given the opportunity to paid work to women who have not been able to seek employment before due to cultural reason.

The Argan forest is threatened by deforestation through overuse and overgrazing by goats and other animals. We work to protect the forest so the people and the animals in the area can continue to live where they have lived for centuries.

Main activities

Growing and planting of Argan trees.
Rehabilitation of trees, pruning and trimming.

  • Technical and practical training to the locals on regenerating Argan trees for use in their own living area.
  • Spread knowledge and awareness on the importance of the Argan forest.
  • Literacy training to local women in the project area.
Goals acheived
  • The local inhabitants will be more engaged in the preservation efforts of the
  • Argan forest through training activities. These skills will be of high value to the local people and coming generations after the project discontinues. The project participants will set up fences around the areas the trees are planted to ensure the trees are protected from animalsThe project participants will have the proper knowledge on how to harvest the Argan fruits without causing damage to the tree.

    Training for female workers at Argan oil cooperative will increase the production cycle and sales.

    The local people will be aware of the damages caused when allowing goats and other animals to graze on the Argan trees. The local people will be aware of the importance of not cutting Argan trees for use as heating

Importance in Norway

The work is important and we really want to help the local people, and the Amazigh people in general. We want a better and brighter future for the children and we want to protect nature and the precious Argan Forest that is of critical state today. If the Argan Forest disappears, then the Sahara desert will spread. This will have consequences not only for Moroccans, but also for everyone.

The Argan Forest is not very known outside of Morocco and thus, our work consists a lot of doing informative work to people all over the world through ours social media and other online platforms.

We also do educative work for the local people living in Morocco and we ambitious goals for the future.

Argan Care is a small organization based in Norway that raises funds from private donors as much as small and big corporate enterprises. Common for all of the donors and sponsors is that they have faith in the organization and see that their contribution really does make a change. Argan Care is based on volunteerism and is backed by some very engaged and smart people who contribute with their expertise in fields such as fundraising, event management, digital consulting and so on.

Future plans

Continue rehabilitation and planting of Argan trees in new, fenced areas.

Build a new women’s cooperative that will create 100 new workplaces.

Strengthen our involvement with local children, being a supporter of education opportunities.

Build a kindergarten at the cooperative.