CorpsAfrica in Morocco: “one of the few NGOs training youth in developing countries as domestic volunteers”:
When I first met CorpsAfrica founder Liz Fanning in Casablanca last fall, CorpsAfrica struck me as an effective model to invest in Moroccan youth capacity-building through development volunteer service. Now, the NGO is expanding to other African countries: Senegal and Malawi. Corps Africa is one of the few NGOs training youth in developing countries as domestic volunteers. In the case of Morocco, I see four major benefits of CorpsAfrica’s service model.
First, CorpsAfrica develops Moroccan youth’s skills and professional perspectives in their own country through the field of development. CorpsAfrica/Maroc has indeed sought to mobilize the expertise of Moroccan and international actors to strengthen volunteers’ skills through an intensive training phase before service in local communities. Volunteers thus go through a four-week intensive training with international, regional and local development leaders, and government officials working on development policy goals and youth programs. Then, volunteers are placed in rural communities throughout the country. During their year of service, they immerse themselves in the community, working with the community to determine what they see as most urgent to address local needs, such as in healthcare, education, water, or infrastructure-building. Once the priority is identified and the project idea turned into an achievable goal, the volunteer is there to facilitate its implementation by the community. The volunteer has the opportunity to confront the theoretical tools learnt in training with the realities on the ground, and to experience all steps of a development project from initial design to implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Liz Fanning highlights her attachment to this “experiential education” supported by CorpsAfrica, a learning-by-doing model…[full story]