Rabat - With the arrival of the US Peace Corps’s 100th group of volunteers in Morocco, the organization celebrates “55 years of friendship.”
Rabat – With the arrival of the US Peace Corps’s 100th group of volunteers in Morocco, the organization celebrates “55 years of friendship.”
Peace Corps Country Director Sue Dwyer noted, “These milestones are a testament to the strong friendship and partnership between the people and government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States Peace Corps.”
The Peace Corps is a US organization that promotes peace in the world through a volunteer program.
According to a press release from the US embassy in Rabat, Peace Corps volunteers serve Moroccan youth in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Volunteers seek to help youth become “productive and civically engaged adults.”
Volunteers also learn about Morocco. Sofia Ashooh, serving in the Fes region, told Morocco World News, “Peace Corps has provided me with an outstanding opportunity to learn about Moroccan culture. I discover something new every day as I carry out my daily life with neighbors, friends, and work partners.”
The Peace Corps’s newest group of volunteers in Morocco, the 100th to come to the kingdom, arrived September 11. The 110 volunteers will spend 11 weeks studying the culture and Darija (Moroccan Arabic).
‘I consider Morocco a second home’
After training, Peace Corps volunteers will be sent primarily to rural areas in six regions of Morocco. There, they will work in youth and women’s centers “to strengthen youth life skills through participation and leadership in classes, clubs, camps and mentoring.”
The volunteers commit to serving two years in their sites assigned by the Ministry of Youth.
The experience can be life-changing. “In Morocco I’ve learned how to be truly generous from the selflessness of my neighbors. I’ve become more patient and understanding as well,” Ashooh reflected. “I will always be grateful to the Moroccan people for welcoming me into their lives, and I strive to be a better person every day because of them.”
Although Peace Corps volunteers serve across the globe, Morocco is “one of the most highly sought after” countries. Morocco received 900 applications from Peace Corps candidates this year.
Morocco invited the Peace Corps in 1963, and since then, 5,052 volunteers have served in Morocco.
For many volunteers, Peace Corps is a springboard to distinguished careers as diplomats. The late US Ambassador Christopher Stevens to Libya, killed by militants in Benghazi in 2012, served in Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer in the early 1980s.
The US Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy in Rabat, Stephanie Miley, also served as a Peace Corps volunteer, in Ecuador.
The Peace Corps mission is to provide social and economic assistance for communities abroad through training. The organization also promotes mutual understanding between Americans and their host countries.
As Sofia Ashooh put it, “I now consider Morocco a second home, and I am lucky to do so.”