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Tandem 360°: A Unique Experience in the Time of Corona

Imane Akhezzane
HAF Programs’ Director

Caption: The hybrid participants’ forum from the 15th to the 20th of October 2020

On June 25, 2020, I participated  in a webinar organized by Darpe regarding a call for applications for a cultural exchange program funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and implemented by MitOst e.V., a German organization. I applied to represent the High Atlas Foundation (HAF).

Webinar organizers selected 20 associations from Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, and Jordan, with each association sending one representative to participate.  Participants met virtually for the first time to take part in a 5-day hybrid forum from October 15-20. Three participants from Morocco gathered in Casablanca and two Moroccan Tandem Alumni hosted us to help us throughout the program. The Moroccan Tandem Alumni took care of the logistics,assured us with pieces of advice, and provided guidance throughout the forum.

Imane from the High Atlas Foundation

Zeinab Imane’s partner from Bait Al Farha

Throughout the 5-day forum, the 20 participants met and chose their partners from within the cohort to develop a project idea. My partner is from a beautiful area in Egypt called Aswan. We decided to work together because we share the same mission of empowering women in rural areas.

In order to develop our collaboration concept, one colleague from each organization joined the forum in the last two days to support the participants. The colleague’s role was to help in critical reflection — I would like to thank Moulay Hassan Aladlouni who came to Casablanca to support me in this.

Imane and Moulay Hassan from the High Atlas Foundation

After the forum, we had a few weeks to work with our partners to develop a proposal which included an action plan and a budget. At the end of November, a committee from Mitost went through a selection process and fortunately, all 10 of the collaborations were accepted. On December 2nd, we met the participants and organizers again to discuss the next step. We are looking forward to solidifying the ideas of our empowerment project with our Egyptian partner, Bait El Farha.

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