Several workshops took place at AMSED in January 2020 in order to help volunteers prepare for their 1 month trip to Morocco lasting from March 21 to April 21 2020. The main goals of the program are to mobilize, motivate, and strengthen the skills of the volunteers. In addition, creating a sense of community and support amongst volunteers will be imperative in this mission to focus on the project and its long term effects.
The first workshop was focused around the topic of “what is a volunteer?” The goals of that workshop included explaining what the Corps of European Solidarity is, the specific project in Morocco, and young engaged volunteers. Attendees of the workshop were potentially interested young people in the desired age range of 18 to 30 years old. An important trait for these participants was to be motivated individuals.
The activity in Morocco was described as being one of solidarity for oneself and for others. The program is supported by the European Union and their Erasmus+ program. They will financially support each participant and their plane tickets, food, accommodations, and 60 euros of spending money. Those who participate in the program will be awarded Youthpass recognition.
The program will take place in the intercultural city of Fez, located in the middle of Morocco, an UNESCO world heritage site. Volunteers will work at the Awaldi Center for disadvantaged youths aged 7 to 16 to help them reintegrate into everyday life and school. Activities will include things like cooking, gardening, French language courses, arts and crafts, music and sports. Some workshops will also be done with the volunteers to ensure the continuity of the activities.
After activities on the weekdays, volunteers have the weekends free to explore. Volunteers will be staying in separate male and female dormitories where Moroccan volunteers will be present with the group.
There was also a preparation workshop for the volunteers on human rights and non-violent communication where the objectives of the project were also discussed – human, personal, and professional. The participants discussed different cultural norms for the Muslim community of Morocco. These cultural differences are important to point out for a smoother transition and better communication with the locals. They also spoke about communication and conflict resolution for better group unity.
A group meeting will be held every day to discuss the day’s activities and any comments, suggestions, or concerns. There will also be discussion about self-financing and how that works. At the end of the program, there will be a fair to make the Awaldi Center better known to the public and possibly recruit new volunteers.