A book of love stories submitted by people from all over the world is helping fund environmental projects in Morocco.
It’s being published by Project Fiasco, a social enterprise founded in 2020. Run by teacher and children's book author Cynthia Weeks, the aim is to put money towards “pollution solutions”.
“So right now, there's some children's books and some other products that are available,” Weeks explains. “And we use at least 50 per cent of the profits towards beach cleaning and tree planting in Morocco.”
The project is still in its early phases and Weeks is currently crowdfunding to publish Love Stories from Around the World. Eventually, she says, almost all of the money raised will be used for beach cleaning.
“The crowdfunding campaign is helping raise extra funds so I can continue paying for the project in Morocco,” she adds.
“Project Fiasco hopes to evolve the beach cleaning in Morocco into something even better and greater reaching than it is now.”
The power of love stories
Currently, Project Fiasco helps to fund a women’s NGO in Rabat, the country’s capital city, which carries out beach cleaning and tree planting initiatives.
“A few years ago, I was in Morocco, and I was volunteering teaching English to this fabulous group of women,” says Weeks.
“I really bonded with them and I always kind of had them in the back of my mind that I would like to help them in some way because income for them isn't the easiest thing for them to get.”
The work in Morocco is headed up by Week’s friend, Mina Rouatab, an educator and advocate for women’s rights. Funds from the sale of the books go towards hiring women to take part in environmental activities so that they can gain financial independence.
“Even her [Mina’s] daughter asked if she could participate because she was struggling with some of her courses, French and English, and she wanted to make some money to hire a tutor to help her for her high school classes,” adds Weeks.
Having taught in international schools across the globe, Weeks has contacted friends from around the world to contribute their love stories to the book.
Backers of the crowdfunding campaign can submit their own romantic tales too.
“It's something interactive to get people involved in the project as well, instead of just putting a book for sale,” she adds.