Following the start of our national volunteering strand of our volunteer programme, a
delegation from our team in Taroudannt made the journey to Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane in the middle of March. It was a long trip, but time well spent leading a seminar on ‘The Role of Civil Society’ on 17 March and meeting contacts to push forward an official partnership with the well-known private university.
The delegation consisted of MCT’s In-Country Project Coordinator and President of local partner Fondation Amane pour la Protection de l’Enfance (FAPE) as well as two local volunteers who have supported MCT’s work across all projects. Upon invitation from the Office of Community Involvement, the group prepared and presented a seminar to 200 Moroccan and international students on the importance of volunteering in relation to the role of civil society in human development. The 1-hour presentation also included information on the social work approach at Centre Amane and encouraged students to consider volunteering in Taroudannt for one month during their summer holiday.
Additionally, the group spent time meeting with university staff responsible for student volunteering and community service in order to formalise the channel for Al Akhawayn students to volunteer at Centre Amane in pre-school, homework support and sport activities. The group also held meetings and interviews with interested professors doing academic work in related fields like community involvement in international development, women’s NGOs working across Morocco and impact on civil society after the constitutional changes to the Moroccan family code in 2004.
Our team also enjoyed time touring the beautiful campus – normally covered with snow in March – and meeting again with the two Al Akhawayn students who had volunteered at Centre Amane this winter. It was an enriching experience for both parties to engage in discussion and promotion of mutual interests and we hope it will prove to be a fruitful partnership in volunteering and research to support Moroccan civil society.