The enormous potential for volunteers to contribute to peace and development was a motivation for the exciting first ever Forum for Youth and Volunteerism last month in Morocco. How monumental that both Farah Cherif D’Ouezzan, Federation EIL President and Fairouz El Hamdaoui, Thaqafat General Secretary represented Thaqafat Association (EIL Morocco) at the Forum from April 29-30, 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco. UNV agencies, civil society actors, Ministries, and young volunteers from Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and Jordan came together to discuss the volunteer situation~ its opportunities and challenges~ in their respective countries .
Farah spoke as an expert on Volunteer Management within the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Her talk focused on the capacity needs of civil society and volunteer organizations and aimed at highlighting best practices across the region and beyond. One of the goals of the event was to inspire other associations to apply a strategic approach to volunteer management. As an additional resource, Ms. El Hamdaoui, moderated a workshop on volunteerism attended by representatives from all five of the countries.
The two day forum included workshops, activities, meetings and a cultural awareness night ~ all to explore the cultural diversity of the region and what the possibilities are for volunteerism to affect the nature and pace of development within the region.
To conclude the conference, recommendations were presented to various Ministries within the five countries with the hope that development programs may be established to mobilize a greater number and diversity of volunteers.