WYA Participates in the First Arab Youth Volunteering Forum

"We believe that solidarity is the unified commitment of persons to live and work in the truth of who we are and for the pursuit of the common good." – WYA Solidarity Declaration, Cologne, Germany 2005

On April 29 and 30, the World Youth Alliance participated in the first Arab Regional Youth Volunteering Forum in the Moroccan imperial city of Marrakesh. The forum was organized by UN Volunteers in partnership with the UNDP and the Moroccan Ministry of Youth and Sports. The main objective of the forum was to gather governments, civil society organizations and youth from the Arab region to dialogue on strengthening the institutional frameworks for youth volunteerism, volunteer management and youth volunteering mechanisms. The forum gathered 100 youth, youth experts, and stakeholders. Approximately 60 of these came from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen, with the remaining 40 participants coming from other countries to share their best practices and lessons learned.

The regional director of WYA in the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Cedric Choukeir, participated in the forum as a speaker. During the session on youth networking and mobility, Mr. Choukeir shared the challenges that the regional office faced including access to information, Visa restrictions, language barriers, and limited funding. The proposed recommendations included the use of online tools to reach out to young people and the adoption of a Training of Trainers format for the educational programs.

After the forum, Mr. Choukeir met with 20 WYA members to discuss the regional office’s future plans for expanding the network in Morocco. The Track A Certified training will be offered in a workshop format in mid-June by Mr. Said Ousaka, WYA’s certified trainer in Morocco. After the workshop, the regional office is looking to establish the first Moroccan National Committee.

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