Assignment

Job

Program: Youth Development
Job Title: Youth Asset Builder
Pre-Service Training: 19 September 2016 – 9 December 2016
Dates of Service: 10 December 2016 – 19 December 2018

Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sporting programs, and information technology. (Source)

Moroccan_children
Moroccan Amazigh children (source)

I have, for quite some time, been interested in the concept of youth, particularly how this age group is integrated into the political and social environments of different countries. Young people are always the future. They (or I should say “we” since I’m included in this group) must find ways – through policy and behavior – to combat war, intolerance, inequality, poverty, disease, malnutrition, poor governance, and everything that plagues our world. Of course, policy and behavior changes take inordinate amounts of time and effort. But we can start by 1) building mutual understanding among cultures, and 2) improving education and skills within cultures.

Serving in PC is therefore my chance to share skills, knowledge, language, norms, and traditions with the youth of Morocco. My overarching responsibilities as a Youth Asset Builder include:

  • Exchanging American and Moroccan culture
  • Designing and implementing leadership opportunities
  • Strengthening interpersonal networks among Moroccans
  • Building the capacity of professionals who want to work with youth
  • Promoting volunteerism

I aim to achieve these through projects, camps, and classes that my community wants and needs. Some of these could be English classes, music lessons, media and social media projects, and healthy lifestyle workshops.


Site

Region: Mideastern Morocco
Assigned Site: [I will keep my specific city off of the Internet for security purposes]

My site is actually a combination of a mid-size city and several small villages around it. The city is in an oasis between the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains. The village in which I live is pushed up against Atlas foothills, to the point where a rocky hill is directly in my host family’s backyard.

20161102_111530-01
My family’s house (2nd story currently under construction).

To reach the city from my house, I have to ride my bike 15 minutes. The city has a dar shabab on the far north side, a high school in the center that has asked for a PCV, and a sports complex further south, 30 minutes by bike from my house.

Closer to my home is a middle school that has asked for a PCV. Clearly, there is no shortage of opportunities for youth development in my site. I will also be taking over for another volunteer in the city, so my job will be a mix of further developing what past volunteers have started as well as building programs in the nearby villages.