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Struggling Moroccan youth find hope in cooking school

July 7, 2017
In this Wednesday, June 28, 2017 photo, trainee chefs receive cooking instructions at Agape association, an informal cooking school aiming to support unemployed and disadvantaged Moroccans, in Marrakech, Morocco. The goal of the non-profit program, called Agape, is to train students for the work force, and its graduates are already finding solid work in Moroccan restaurants. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — A retired French chef is working to solve Morocco’s youth unemployment crisis one clove of garlic and ripe tomato at a time.

By giving young Moroccan’s a taste of mincing garlic, stuffing tomatoes and taking notes in a classroom, a nonprofit culinary program called Agape is trying to expand their options.

Cooking teacher Abdelatif Boutad instructs his students how to retain nutrients while cooking and to expand on their repertoires of couscous, tajines and other Moroccan dishes.

Wafaa Kourimi, a 25-year-old from a rural town who never went to high school, is thriving at the cooking school.

She says: “It’s teaching me to believe in myself, and work with a team.”