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Uitwisseling Formaat Hoboken - Association Musulmane de Bienfaissance Dar Attalib
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Formaat Hoboken en AMB (Association Musulmane de bienfaissance) organized a group exchange during the easter holiday of 2015. Goal? Bringing together 25 youngsters of Formaat and AMB ((Association Musulmane de bienfaissance) in Morrocco for a 5day program of intercultural exchange. The youngsters got the opportunity to experience what it's like to organise youth work in an another continent and to work together with youngsters with different cultures and backgrounds. The idea for this specific project came up during one of our weekly group meetings. Some youngsters and volunteers we work with were interested to participate in a project abroad. But not just any kind of an abroad experience. A project where they got a chance to discover and get to know another culture. These young people spend most of their free time in a youth home. That’s why it seemed very interesting to organize an exchange program with youngsters of a youth home in Morocco. We started a steering committee for this project and a group of 15 young participants was selected. The selection was based on the motivation of the participants and their different interests in sport and culture. We were very excited to find possible partners and contacted those we can work with. Two of our supervisors went on a prior visit for 4 days to meet our partners. The youth house in Morocco supports young people on different levels. They provided sleeping spaces and food for those in need of it. They also assisted the youngsters with their study’s and homework. Besides some support for primary needs their target group they also provide some leisure activities. Their work is comparable with our work here in Belgium. That was also the main reason to choose this particular partner. The youngsters that find their way to the youth home in Agourai are mostly underprivileged or orphans that attend the secondary school on the other side of our working space. The youngsters in Morocco appreciate the fact that they can go to school and they try their very best to obtain good results. While the youngsters of the secondary school in Hoboken often consider school as a boring unnecessary obligation. The opportunities on the labor market are very low for both groups. This topic was very important for us to implement in the activity’s. The awareness of the importance to obtain skills to be able to find work is growing, particularly in Europe. Our youngsters had particularly Moroccan roots. That’s why it was very interesting for them to get to know local youngsters that live in the country of their origins in a very fun and educational way. During a questioning most of our youngsters admitted not to search contact with local people when the go on holliday in Marocco. They spended most of their time on visiting touristic places where the local youngster are not to be found. They had no adequate picture of what occupy those young people, what they do in their free time, which opportunities they got, what a Moroccan degree is worth, which sports are popular over there,... That unfortunate because it’s a part of their origins, their culture, their identity. It was a stirring experience for our youngsters to discover the differences between Moroccan-Belgian culture and the local Moroccan culture. The core objective of this project was to let our youngsters discover what it means to be young, to study, to spend free time in Morocco and let them engage in a conversation concerning these topics. We found it very important to share the experiences of our participants with other young people and organizations. To obtain this objective, we communicated through social media and we will spread an article in our own magazine (Formaat magazine) and a documentary about the project. Eventually we hope to expand this exchange project in the future and stimulate other youth organizations to do the same.
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