Case study Morocco : "Deliver Us to Books / Mothers and Children First! "

Hello !

This is a great story of a group of activists operating in Kenitra (A city around 50km in the south of Rabat.) But the project is touching almost all the big cities in a first step and aim to become national.

What do they do : One of the biggest social problems in Morocco is Education. In poor neighborhoods, the parents do not often take care of their children. The law of the street is the one educating them because they spend a lot of time on it, playing football or just chillig with their mates.

What this people do, is that they create illustrated books with usual situations that those childs live every day, and distribute them to the parents and children with a big work of sensibilisation. These books are very close to these people becauses they treat subjects that touch them directly.

This operation is a big success as the stories in the books are becoming an oral heritage and the parents and childs recognize themselves in those books.

Below a resume of the interview i had with Mr Driss Massaoudi, a jounalist, activist, and founder of this project. And some links to understand better the project (in Fr)

Answers of Mr Driss Messaoudi, on behalf of the cultural and social action Workshop Kenitra, atacs-K, designer and implementer of the project "Deliver Us to Books / Mothers and Children First! "

• How did you start and what is the current situation?

I started with the idea that the book could serve as an instrument of social therapy, adopting some features of form and substance. This approach allowed me to give greater breadth and scope to my field actions in raising awareness and guidance of certain population groups: people with disabilities, early school leavers or pre delinquency …

Currently, through the partnership with Ecology Action association, cultural, social and online marketing company, the first batch of 5,000 copies of three tracks from this concept is being printed for commercial distribution.

The books in question treat 1 / of the popular culture of the fishing trips with friends, 2 / the noble tradition of the master craftsman, and 3 / the respect of animals as part of an ecological approach.

• Who is involved: Who is in the team? Roles and responsibilities? Skill levels, partnerships?

This project is part of an informal structure for now but what is intended, is to be institutionalized as an association.

For now it’s a “cultural and social action workshop”, an informal cooperative multidisciplinary, bringing together people of good will, and each one identifying itself the area of ​​expertise and responsibility he is able to ensure and assume, from a comprehensive presentation of the project in all its dimensions and issues.

The team now has fifteen people and dynamic partnership regularly gains in power, due to a strategy of openness and systematic collaboration.

Particularly with regard to authors, writers, illustrators and graphic designers, to give life to the ideas of books inspired by the guiding concept of the project.

Short / Medium Term Projection: “I believe that to achieve x, we must do it through z”

To prove that the book is a better social therapy vector that ICTs, it remains to convince NGOs to adopt it as awareness campaign support or awareness on such a unifying theme as possible.

What are your main goals / why you do this?

The main objective is to make the book a vector of civilization, which involves feeding the book publishing market a sufficiently attractive product concept. A project driven by the belief that the book is actually the best friend of man.

• What do you enjoy about the job and what you like least?

The most significant is obviously the wealth of human contact that such social engineering makes living in one hand and capitalize on the other.

The less pleasant part is to take over the suffering generated by the various social pathologies that this project proposes to deal.

• What types of tasks you do on a regular basis? Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily

Daily: meetings and contacts, identification of needs, case studies, field work,

Weekly: operational briefings and debriefings, design and screenwriting, producing and directing.

Monthly basis: upgrade new employees and team members

Annual Basis: evaluation of actions and planning.

• What, other than money, do you think could help you in your work?

Institutional and operational partnership with NGOs of international scope; the official government support.

• What help can you give to others and under what conditions (assuming no money involved)?

Design and produce books that can serve as carriers and vectors of social and cultural action projects in the conditions of a functional partnership of general interest.

WHAT SHOULD KNOW THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO REALLY UNDERSTAND YOUR JOB?

• Products or services you produce now?

Illustrated books vocation of social therapy. Social and cultural framework of actions targeted populations.

• How are you going to lead your project? What are the steps? Technologies or processes used?

Prospecting in the sphere of NGOs to establish partnerships aimed at making the book a support vector of cultural and social activities, awareness to therapy.

First step, performed: implementation of a cultural and social action workshop service specializing in artisanal publishing illustrated books; along the lines of income generating activities (pilot workshop, reproducible concept on a large scale), allowing its participants to have a professional activity generating income practicable at home (making handicrafts books from boards printed in fashion PAO)

Step 2, being: publication and dissemination under the name of a publishing house partner of the project of a first series of 5000 books, divided between the first three titles of a new concept of popular literature: the books "imagiques "that emphasize the image to text so strongly draw the attention by creating an equally strong emotion and reflection, a prelude to the awakening of the acting consciences …

Step 3 in progress: extension of the pilot area implementation from concept to large areas of population. For example, partnership for with large real estate companies managing “economic” housing programs in order to contribute decisively to urbanization projects from rural populations in particular by the widespread dissemination of a “illustrated Guide of urban life” under design.

• Costs: What expenses are involved? Who benefits from the work? Which currently supports, how and why?

This project have as a goal the creation and entry into service of a team of ten people charged with ensuring the distribution door to door of the awareness books in question, in this case the third book of the first series, devoted to “wild” football practiced by children and young adults on street corners, causing more and more trouble to local residents …

The budget for this action is 500,000 Dh annually.

The beneficiaries of this project are first employees.

The operating budget since the start of implementation to two years ago is powered by : one third in personal funds; another third by corporate sponsorship; third part: private sponsorship.

• Existing Alternatives: Who else is doing similar or related work / offering similar things- locally or elsewhere?

No one.

• Significant actors that affect your work? (Local and International)

Local: this project is followed by an official in the office of the Minister of Cultural Affairs.

International: partnership being established with an Italian association for the protection of animals.

• Long-term perspective: a business plan or sustainability?

Editing very large circulation, 100,000 copies monthly and + popular books at a large scale.

Durability guaranteed by the therapeutic use of the books in question.

Business Plan being finalized.

• Transport and logistics?

Nothing.

• Law and policy directly or indirectly affecting your work?

Strategy of popularization and democratization of reading conducted by the Moroccan Ministry of Cultural Affairs, through the creation of “regional exhibitions Book” reinforcement  the “International Exhibition of Publishing and Books in Casablanca” and the grant projects aimed at promoting reading and books.

- What is the concept of pooling resources mean to you?

Provision of technical and logistical resources. Collaboration and mutual support. Etc…

Éléments de réponse Annexes

- Site de l’Association Agora (partenaire)

http://agoramaroc.com/qui-sommes-nous/

- Articles consacrés par Le Blog-Notes de Salvadorali (site d’information alternative, partenaire) à l’association Agora :

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/582-une-quipe-saine-dans-un-quartier-sain

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/581-plasticiens-politiciens-et-jeunesse-partisane

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/576-association-agora-le-logo-appropri

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/575-veni-vidi-po-sie

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/571–agora-dynamique-et-place-appropri-es

- Article consacrés par le Blog-Notes de Salvadorali à l’Atelier d’Action culturelle et sociale de Kénitra AtACS-K (concepteur et maître d’œuvre du projet) :

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/569-bourgeons-sportifs-sur-gazon-synth-tique

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/563-le-barrage-et-les-pauvres-gens

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/562-la-mer-est-sans-pitie

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/561-poubelle-la-vie

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/560-merci-voisin

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/596-quatre-autres-fantastiques

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/597-harira-made-in-haouzia

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/598-au-cafe-el-bouhaira-cha9or-blfor

http://salvadorali.centerblog.net/591-ordure-le-tri-est-ton-salut

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Feedback options?

I like the idea that stems from the notion that books and civilization are closely linked. Also I think books are an extremely resource efficient vector for change, especially in certain parts of the environment.

One thing I would suggest is establishing a channel that allows information to travel the other way as well. For example one could design a page that encourages them to complete it or modify it in some way and send an MMS or picture of what they write/draw back to your organization. That way you could interact and learn more from the other side as well. You could also use (different) QR-codes to get their response in a less creative way.

The other thing I had to think of is Cory Doctorow. I appreciate that you are skeptical about ICT and I think there are good reasons for that, but perhaps you can find something interesting in this direction if you have not looked already.

Budget

500.000 Dh = approx. 123.000 € right (so about 8€ or 9$ per book if I understand correctly)?

500.000 dh is aroud 50.000 €. it’s much more less. But the books are very good quality

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Thanks

That puts things into another perspective! But even before I’d have thought: in the grand scheme of things it is probably well invested - because the books really do look like high quality prints.

I think I’ve seen those books before! Nice effort, do you have their website @Driss?

For now, they don’t have a website, the person in charge has only a blog, you can find the links in the case study. (But it’s all in French^^)

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So how could a partnership around the future makers book work?

Hi Driss,

had missed this post. Nice find, their work looks really interesting. As I was reading it I realised we could maybe approach them about partnering with the book?

Other than that I wanted to ask what it was about their approach that you thought others can learn from- is it their approach to storytelling? how they work? Something else?

Also, what do you/they think makes this approach towards rehabilitation/social therapy effective in Morocco- is it some kind of experience? Is there anything specific to the local context which makes this a particularly wise choice?

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