MENA OpenVillage Academy (Extended deadline!)

The Open Village Academy is a 3 months program in which participants develop new skills, professional experience and networks by contributing to existing open source projects dedicated to the common good. These are projects lead by peers with more experience, who in return for the contributions to advancing their projects, mentor participants – helping them to identify and develop the skills needed to be good contributors and colleagues.

The program will take place in a calm and inspiring place close to Essaouira, Morocco.

Deadline for applications: Extended till 31th December
Start date: February 2018

Eligibility criteria

You have recently graduated from university or school and are looking for an opportunity to build your skills, professional experience and network. You have at least a basic level in one or more of these skills and would like to put it to work on one of these meaningful projects for three months in the Open Village Academy.

Financial support

Admission to OpenVillage Academy comes with the following support:

  • Travel reimbursement for up to USD 500.
  • Free room and board in the OpenVillage House in Morocco, for the duration of your participation.
  • Technical support will be provided to the selected participants to obtain their visa to Morocco.

How to apply

  1. Create an account on and introduce yourself to the Edgeryders community members.
  2. Tell us about your experience and goals: fill in our form
  3. Join our Count On Me mailinglist.

The deadline for the first round of applications to the OpenVillage Academy is November 30, 2017. The result of the matching process and the final list of participants will be communicated through a post on Edgeryders platform in December 2017.

OpenVillage Academy concept

OpenVillage Academy is the result of fieldwork and encounters with more than 200 young people from the MENA region, mainly Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.

This region suffers from a high unemployment rate, from countries in transition to democracy to others encountering economic crises. Countries with different cultures but meeting the same challenges: Reduction of the unemployment rate, economic development and more equality between the different regions of the country. The striking resemblance of young people in their countries is their big ambition and determination to change the reality of their country and contribute actively to its economic development.

In the 7 workshops we conducted in the region where we adopted methodologies specifically designed to help participants design their professional projects, we were able to identify the following three issues:

  • Companies recruit mainly experienced profiles, making access to the job market difficult for juniors and young graduates.

  • Business creation / entrepreneurship has been presented to its young people as an alternative to unemployment, however bureaucracy and lack of resources prevent some from embarking on the entrepreneurial adventure.

  • The environment and working conditions in local businesses do not stimulate the creativity of its young talents, some of them seriously think about leaving their jobs.

To provide an alternative that meets the needs of the majority of the participants, we have integrated the OpenVillage Academy, a new component of the large OpenVillage project. The academy offers a three-month period which allows young people to develop their talents by working on existing open source projects lead by more experienced, entrepreneurial, peers.

This means they develop hard and soft skills by building meaningful things in a supportive and multicultural environment, while supporting one another to move for good projects forward.

In addition to the practical part of the internship that will be provided by the project leader (Edgeryders Community Entrepreneur) and his / her team, the OpenVillage Academy offers participants workshops and activities to strengthen their skills to make them more employable in the labor market.

At the end of his / her course at the open village, a certificate validating the participant’s personal qualities, aptitudes, skills and professional know-how will be awarded.


Hello @zmorda So this opportunity is for people residing in Tunisia , Egypt , Lebanon, Morocco or Jordan only right? :slight_smile:


No it’s not. Main thing is it has to be open source (libre) project with interest in collaborating with peers based on the region

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So I am already willing to initiate Open Village House Kathmandu and want to collaborate with all region on common ground for example- emphasis on local products and finding an international market to it or in another areas. Can I participate?

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Think of solutions you need for OpenVillage House Kathmandu. You need open source coffee processing machines for sure. I’m going to develop an optical coffee sorter during the program in Morocco. Not sure if you like working on such a machine though :slight_smile:

Anyway, you may find a project that interests you enough to apply.


Hello Anu ! If you are looking for projects that you may contribute in please check the fellowing list Open Village Residency Potential Projects


Optical Source Coffee processing machines seems really interesting. I am also interested in Bitcut opensource furniture as well. Am I eligible to apply from Nepal? I also went through procedure to apply but in order to fill the form, I should be a citizen of these countries( Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt) right?

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Not anymore :slight_smile: Zmorda has updated the form, you are welcome to apply from Nepal.


A quick feedback I got and also have been wondering myself: why do we still say OpenVIllage House Morroco and not say OpenVillage Essaouira or more specific?
Also, if someone clicks on OpenVillage topic on edgeryders it is very hard to get to the essential information - the most relevant one I find is on the public website (pages below), which of course is great. But we also have a community here on edgeryders.

Any chance we can consider going back to updates for the community like yours from the past @hazem ? Even reposting Owen’s weekly newsletters here on could help. <3

Great info here too:


I second the use of the website for a summary of the information. It seemed to have worked for the Festival in October. The website doesn’t need to be up to date to the minute, you can refer to the forum for the “hottest news”.

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@hazem I agree with Noemi ^^

انا من الاردن ارغب في المشاركة في برنامج السفر الى المغرب هل هذا ممكن

مرحبا بك بطبع ممكن كل ما عليك القيام به هو اتباع الخطوات التالية

قم باختيار البرنامج المناسب لك
1.Open Village Residency Program Apply now for the Open Village Residency Essaouira, Morocco - OpenVillage - Edgeryders
2.Open Village Academy Program Deadline for Applications to OpenVillage Academy: November 4, 2017 - OCI Lab Conversations - Edgeryders