Two of our UK team members, Grace and Rachel, just returned this week to London from Taroudannt for a two-week visit from the 9th to the 23rd September! Grace just took on our part-time Project Support Officer role in July and Rachel has been volunteering since April as an intern offering project development support.
During the first week of their visit, they were very enthusiastic to take part in the daily activities at Centre Amane and had an initial introduction to the centre and the staff. Then then visited the sports centre and attended the weekly team meeting. Grace and Rachel had opportunities to attend lots of meetings with the Moroccan team and members of MCT’s in-country partner FAPE in order to better understand how all the activities run from day-to-day in Taroudannt.
Grace focused on our Volunteer Project, including lots of brainstorming with local team members about the future of the project and ways to expand the programme. She also focused on our Identity Paper Project, discussing its ongoing evaluation of its pilot year and how to increase the scope of the work. Rachel started off her visit by starting a series of collaborative meetings with FAPE on development plans for a future fostering project, exploring avenues of research and how to strengthen our current proposed project plan.
In addition to getting to know Taroudannt, the girls went on a day trip to explore the seaside city of Agadir and do some sightseeing. After enjoying a long walk along the beach in the Moroccan sunshien, they made their way up to the old Kasbah â Agadir Oufella â to watch the sunset over the ocean and relax a little after a busy first week at the centre!
The second week of their visit was just as busy, starting with a two-day visit with our In-Country Project Coordinator, Sarah, to Rabat via an overnight coach from Taroudannt. Between two Skype meetings with the UK team, Rachel and Grace got to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of the oldest and most historic parts of the city, guided by Sarah who briefly lived in Rabat. Also in Rabat, the team attended a meeting with the director of the UNESCO Centre on Law and Migration and her colleague, a former justice of the Moroccan Supreme Court, to discuss the issues facing children without papers in Morocco and our own Identity Papers Project.
After taking the night bus again back to Taroudannt, the team swiftly got back into work at Centre Amane: spending time with some of the children in the pre-school, attending a child protection training session, and getting the opportunity to take part in an event organised by the French Institute for the children at the centre – a screening of a series of short films in our sports hall followed by a cross-cultural group discussion. Grace went to another event organised by our Identity Paper Project team at a school in nearby Ouled Teima to raise awareness and run a mobile drop-in service for birth registration support. Rachel also attended a meeting with the provincial head of l’Entraide Nationale â the state’s social welfare branch â to present our research plans and ask for support of our fostering project.
It was a fantastic experience for Grace and Rachel to visit Centre Amane and to get to explore Taroudannt. Of course, it was very fulfilling to finally meet and work alongside the team in Morocco after months of working with the team in the UK!