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Empowerment Among the Trees

Imagine workshop participants in Sefrou, Morocco | June 2021

By Souhaila Rhaleb, Clinician, USMBA Legal Aid Clinic

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) organized a workshop in the beautiful city of Sefrou. This Imagine Empowerment Workshop offers the opportunity for participants to explore their goals and the challenges that hinder them, among other things. Two clinicians from the Legal Aid Clinic (CFJD), housed at the Faculty of Social, Legal, and Economic Sciences at University Sidi Mohamed Ben Adbellah in Fes participated alongside several women from Sefrou. This workshop, while helpful on a personal level, is also a preparation tool for those seeking to improve themselves in a professional capacity. In the case of the CJFD clinicians, the workshop can help them to improve themselves as pro bono practitioners of legal aid, whether in family mediation, where the clinician must show impartiality, neutrality and patience, or in cases of asylum, migration, or human trafficking, where the clinician may be working with victims of trauma or crime.

Indeed, the meeting between the HAF team members, the clinicians, and the women of Sefrou was both instructive and entertaining. It was instructive insofar as we had the rare opportunity to conduct a thorough analysis of ourselves and our capacity to recognize ourselves, to find ourselves in space and in time, to learn how to direct our own development, and to reinforce our assets and improve upon our weaknesses. As for entertainment, meditation was the first and best way to create a space of serenity and well-being to be present in the moment and to concentrate better on the objectives of the workshop.

At the end of this training, most of the participants came to the conclusion that women or individuals in general create for themselves their own rules and identify their own steps to achieve goals. Of course, many obstacles can prevent us from realizing our wishes and desires, but if we believe in them, we can accomplish them. Sometimes, it is enough to close our eyes, imagine, and detach ourselves from any negativity and prejudice to be able to make a neutral judgment and start again. Here, self-confidence is the key factor of success.

From the exercises throughout the duration of the workshop, we concluded that the strengthening of two types of intelligence is essential today in order to flourish, namely: interpersonal intelligence and intra-personal intelligence. In other words, the improvement of the relationship with oneself and the improvement of the relationship with others are two essential operators in the process of personal development. Moreover, knowing oneself offers the possibility of success, and knowing others offers the opportunity to choose.

Finally, this workshop was a great way to stimulate our will and desire to help, assist, and accompany people in need. Providing legal and social aid is not an easy thing to do, but the more we have this strong will that guides us and this passion that motivates us, the more effective our role in society is.

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