Wafae safar~ Manager of the Cooperative
The Cherry Buttons Cooperative is in large part a product of the formidable women that have worked tirelessly to see their ideas come into fruition. Wafae Safar is one of these women. Her determination to the cooperative is rivalled only by her stark dedication to empower women. "working at the cooperative has given me the opportunity to prove myself. I am a woman and I can work." Learning how to make buttons when she was merely eight years old, she never imagined she would one day manage a cooperative that mobilised women through this medium. It was Amina (the founder of the cooperative) who paved the way for women to use this traditional skill in new and innovative ways. Working with the diverse group of women that make up the cooperative has been in many ways transformational for Wafae. Not only has her work been financially beneficial but it has also made her more confident and given her a sense of belonging. "I realised I was not the only woman trying to prove herself. Exchanging our stories and ideas has made us stronger." Ultimately the Cherry Buttons Cooperative has given women a chance at financial autonomy and a chance to prove their working abilities. " Before hand made work didn't mean much in Morocco. Hand crafted buttons would go directly to the men who sold them. Women's work was always hidden." Now it is in full display. The grass-roots cooperative has captured the attention of the Moroccan president and more and more Moroccan people. "We will never stop. we will continue to grow our work. We will make it the best it can be."