21 August is Youth Day in Morocco. This article was written by Malika Kassi, HAF Project Manager, in tribute to Morocco's young people.
Community-driven and Participatory Development: Morocco’s Key to Sustainable and Equitable Growth
One of the things that I discovered and recognized during my experience with HAF is the concept of participatory contribution to sustainable development. Although in my life the action of participating in good works and deeds have always been present, the concept of participatory development was not clear until I worked for HAF. Now I experience the beauty of this concept every day in my life. Participation is the fastest way to change the world for sustainability, economy, agriculture, health and well-being purposes. Most of the rural young girls and boys do not have access to education and health services. These communities survive with little income, which creates a huge frustration and makes the youth feel unable to fulfill their potential.When we lead community meetings with young people, they develop new and amazing ideas, yet the youth lack the opportunity to put these ideas motion. In this regard, the High Atlas Foundation plays a great role in developing human capital and other core assets of sustainable livelihood in nine provinces of Morocco. The best example HAF offers is scholarships for intelligent and disadvantaged students to pursue their academic studies. HAF helps not only the youth, but also it illustrates the way to fulfill their dreams.
I think my generation is very powerful and we shouldn’t be looked on as troublemakers but we need to be given opportunities as opportunities . HAF has helped to build the capacities of youth and made the channels of communication wide open. Typically; HAF’s trainers and facilitators sit with the young people and they state their needs and list the solutions to their problems and concerns using the participatory devlopement techniques.
I believe my generation is very powerful because they have the drive to improve conditions in Morocco. The youth have passion and they can start their own businesses. They need, however, the government and relevant organizations to ease the difficulties that interfere with success. By doing so, together the youth and government can contribute to Morocco’s development. The youth do not want Morocco to experience un-just blood-shed. Morocco’s Green Plan 2020 has many initiatives that include the youth within the development process. Further it engages them into multiple types of inclusive programs.
I call the young to change their negative mindset and start to think about the solutions to better the societal conditions and embrace the characteristics of positive ethics, faithfulness and responsibility. This will build a strong civil society for a compatible sustainability. Nevertheless the youth can best participate, when heard and provided with the opportunity to grow.
HAF Project Manager