By Sarah Bertin and Gus Tupper
By Sarah Bertin and Gus Tupper
Rabat – From December 6th to the 8th, Young Moroccan Voices Programme brought 30 talented and committed young people to Rabat to train them in leading debates and organizing events that will hopefully get hundreds of people involved across the country in the coming weeks.
These students were chosen based on their dedication to enhancing Moroccan democracy and fostering the art of debate as demonstrated by their application. Those selected came from all over the nation as a means to spread their knowledge back to their hometowns.
The goal of the programme, organized by Forum des Jeunes Marocains (FJM), is to empower the burgeoning youth population in Morocco to lead and participate in government and society, as well as to train them to hold cultural events and debates on important issues in their home cities—spreading the message of youth emancipation throughout Morocco. Several proctors, who are experienced in debating and mobilizing youth leaders, led the sessions throughout the three days.
Young Moroccan Voices is a new offshoot of a larger project called Young Arab Voices, jointly managed by Forum des Jeunes Marocains, Anna Lindh Foundation and the British Council. It is a programme dedicated to building democratic societies and encouraging pluralistic values across Arab countries. This aligns perfectly with the mission of the various organizations involved in the project, as well as its financiers.
From the Young Arab Voices mission statement: “The programme depends on establishing partnerships with the education sector, as well as the civil society sector; from NGOs, youth groups, culture centres, schools and universities, as well as the concerned ministries in the targeted countries: Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.” To successfully achieve its mission, a number of debating clubs have been organized headed by trained facilitators, as well as a regional resource network that includes peer-to-peer support and operational assistance.
FJM is excited to have worked arranging this programme, believing that education and intellectual dialogue is the first step towards creating a more democratic and prosperous society. “Moroccan Youth Forum is glad to have been a part of helping ambitious young people learn the essential skill of debating, which is unfortunately lacking in Moroccan school curricula,” said Ismail El Hamraoui, President of FJM.
Being a member of Young Moroccan Voices is an amazing way to build leadership skills and get involved in Moroccan civil society. Last week’s programme will hopefully lead to meaningful interactions nationwide between active members of the youth population.
The beneficiaries have now returned to their hometowns to continue spreading the lessons learned in Rabat and promoting participation in civil society by organized debates on various subjects. “This is an opportunity to change and to excel for me as a student. I am thankful for this invaluable experience, and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge in Agadir, especially at my university which lacks such opportunities,” says Aziz Jdi, an English Literature Student from Ibno Zohr University- Agadir.
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