Over the last few weeks, the MCT team have been particularly busy in Morocco and the UK raising awareness of our work with street-connected children and their families.
On the 23rd November 2013, some members of the Moroccan team, including social workers Iqbal and Zaihra, and GMH President, Abdellah Soussi, travelled to Agadir to participate in a forum on women who are forced into prostitution in the Souss Massa Draa region. The conference was organised by the Youth Council of Agadir in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and USAID. It brought together organisations from all over the region to discuss the issue of prostitution and possible ways of supporting women to exit prostitution.
The following day, the team participated in a conference concerning the implementation of childrenâs rights in the Souss Massa Draa region. The conference was organised by the Regional Network for Childrenâs Rights, UNICEF and the Ministry of Human Rights. The aim of the conference was to discuss how organisations can facilitate the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The conference had many positive outcomes, including a commitment to greater coordination between organisations working with vulnerable children in the region to ensure that childrenâs rights are upheld.
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25th November 2013, social worker Iqbal attended a three-day training event in Casablanca on preventing violence against women. The training allowed organisations the opportunity to share their experiences of working with vulnerable women and offered an encouraging outlook on changing negative societal views on violence against women. It also gave Iqbal resources to facilitate a session with the women’s group at Centre Afaq on violence against women.
This month, from the 1st to 6th December 2013, social worker Touria and GMH member Hicham participated in training in Fez for social workers working with street-connected children and young people. The training was organised by two NGOs, Apprentis dâAuteuil and Heure Joyeuse and was attended by social work organisations from all over Morocco. The training focused on methods of working with children on the street and how to engage them in programmes. MCT Director, Dr Chris Hands, gave an oral presentation entitled “Using a province-wide participatory child protection conference as a catalyst for systemic change in southern Morocco.” It focused on the design of MCT & GMH’s regional child protection conference in May 2013, its outcomes, our progress toward those thus far, and lessons learned from this process.
The UK team also presented a poster entitled “Headcount of Street Children in Taroudannt, Southern Morocco” on the quantitative head counting research conducted in Taroudannt in Summer 2013. Authored by researcher Jacob Perry, and UK team members Mandie Iveson, Sarah Sibley and Chris Hands, the poster provides brief descriptions of the methodology, results, discussion, and conclusions of the research conducted in Taroudannt.