While looking for great strories to tell, i met a group of motivated active youth called Rojalnu.
Rojalnu is active almost everywhere in Africa and since 2012 in Morocco. They support social projects social projects made by young people, they're always ready to give advices, guidance and sometimes even funding to support such projects. Know more about them through the following interview:
Tell me/us about your project/work?
- How you got started and current situation :
ROJALNU Morocco is a branch of ROJALNU Africa headquartered in burkina Faso. ROJALNU Morocco was created after the participation of Jihad Zahir (Chairman) at the "Pan-African Youth Leadership" Summit, organized by UNFPA (United Nations Population Funds), UNAIDS (United Nations Program on HIV/Aids) and ROJALNU in Ouagadougou, December 2012.
On his return, she thought that "it was imperative to continue the debate in Morocco by educating youth through reports to the MDGs and involving them in the process of discussion. This is how ROJALNU Morocco was created. Nowadays, Morocco's branch is the most active among all other branches ROJALNU in Africa.
- Who's involved: Who is in the team? Roles and responsibilities? Skillsets (what are individual team members good at?) Any partnerships?
We have a standard structure: an executive office (President, Vice President, General Secretary, Vice GS, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer and 3 consultants) and a general meeting. In spite of that, we adopt a participatory leadership and no hierarchy of any kind is applied to our members. Also, to ensure that ROJALNU is a youth association and that it'll remain it, the candidates for a position in the directory board of the association must not have more than 30 years.
The average age of our members and of 24, girls are the majority, and most of the members are students in different cycles (bachelor, master, doctorate) and different cities.
At a national level, our partners are UNV, associative crossroads, Y-PEER.
- Hypothesis guiding the work: "I believe that to achieve x, we need to do y, through z"
We believe that to have successful strategies and programs for young people, we need to ensure their effective involvement as partners and not as beneficiaries that only have to undergo and execute.
- What your main objectives are/why you do this?
At the beginning, our goal was to involve young people in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and advocacy for the effective inclusion of youth in the post 2015 agenda (we participated actively in the discussion process concerning the post 2015 agenda, at a national, regional and international level).
As it was difficult to cover all the MDGs through our actions, we have chosen to focus on three main areas: 1-The education and civic engagement, 2- employment and employability 3- and health of the youth, considering that these are those topics are the one that most affect young people. Those axes are still relevant with the application of SDG (sustainable development goals) .
- What you enjoy about the work and what you enjoy less?
Houda Tahoune, Vice Chair:
In my Opinion, associative work allows any citizen to better understand the needs of his country, his community, and thus respond with effective and adequate solutions, and that's what I like about my work, I have met young people who were just criticizing then once on the ground, once they meet reality and they understand the source of their problems, their vision is changing and they begin to take initiatives to make a change. In addition to that, they're becoming more and more aware of decisions that are made at a high level and that's our goal, that young people are integrated into decision-making in an effective way.I love to see our youth work for the good cause. What I appreciate less is, maybe, the lack of confidence that policymakers give to this youth, which can sometimes damage their hope.
Meryem Talha, Vice treasurer:
Some of our elders underestimate the ability of young people to change our environment, our world. This "beautiful" figure of talking, made me react well and try as much as the other youth working with me, to ban it, and prove that we are able to build a better future. In addition, the values defended by ROJALNU are also my main strength of inciting associative work. I discovered ambitious , outstanding, original projects. I opened my eyes to another world that is not so simple, a springboard to working life, an open door to the real world.
... I could live as a young active, or I could just choose to complete my studies calmly away from any commitment? To be short, Being a young active women and doing something useful for the voluntary engagement of young people, transmitting a desire of engagement to other people, are my life CHOICE.
In addition, I was convinced that Responsibility for our younger generations is determined facing many challenges, for example, the education system, which does not always facilitate good choices in the field of career guidance. What annoys me is to see the Passive leaders who only think about their own individual interests, that are engaged only in words, leading a big number of associations. But what I appreciate most is when we meet "real" young people who believe "it's time for the actions to take place and react well to this difficult conjoncture."
Jihad Zahir, Chairman:
What I like most about my job is building the capacity of members who earn a lot of experience through the voluntary work, more likely, some volunteers found jobs through their involvement in the associative life. I've always thought all along, that civic engagement initially benefits the volunteer himself.
What I like least are the logistical constraints, the difficulty of ensuring a work rate saw that young people are all in transient phases (studies, examinations, early career, start a family life) that prevent to keep a certain pace in their lives as volunteers in an association.
- What kinds of tasks do you do on a regular basis? Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily
We organize stands, focus groups, online advocacy campaigns.
- What, other than money, do you think could help you in your work?
Beyond direct financing, furnitures (office supplies, meeting room, offices) will be very helpful. Participation in national and international events will help us to stay on the page, expand our network and motivate our members. Training on advocacy in particular will strengthen our capabilities further in this direction.
- What help could you offer others and under which conditions (assuming no money is involved)?
We are a multidisciplinary team, our volunteers have a variety of skills, the most obvious contribution is building the capacity of our bénéficaires through training which will enhance their employability, rise their knowledge, etc... This kind of action can be achieved with 0 DH. Another relevant contribution is the generation of data through studies on small or large scale, particularly the organization of focus groups, the collection of recommendations online ... Creating advocacy tool is also something that we can offer and we can help in terms of content (we have access to the reports, national and international data and statistics in addition to the studies that we plan) and the level of form (we have designer who can produce facsheets, videos, flash animations , photos..etc)
Deeper questions: What should those who really wish to understand the work know?
What do you produce/offer
- Products or services that you currently produce?
Currently we are working on 3 themes as mentioned above, to treat ROJALNU uses what we like to call "Friendly Actions": which includes interactive training, playful focus group, organization stands and advocacy campaigns and awareness Online. We lead the campaign for now # anaw9rayti (me and my studies). This is a campaign we are conducting mainly on social networks (Facebook and Twitter) by which we gather the opinions of citizens on the Moroccan education system and invite them to share their stories and bad experiences using the hashtag # Anaw9rayti to come out of the recommendations. In the same context of this campaign, another activity on which we are working is launching a website that will be a platform to collect ideas and recommendations for Internet users. To ensure the relevance of the recommendations and ideas will be resource lines to give an idea about the current situation of the educational system and the reforms that have been established that will allow visitors to propose new ideas which do have not been implemented before.
We also participate in activities with our partners to trace the requirements, ROJALNU Morocco recently attended a Medical Caravan in Essaouira. This allowed us to meet the needs of two health centers in the city and inform stakeholders to improve the conditions of these centers.
- How do you go about doing this- what steps are involved? Technologies or processes used?
We are organized in small groups, we plan our action plans in three different themes and we meet with our partners to mobilize more energy and have more impact.
We use quite often social networks to involve youth in our actions BECAUSE they are our main target. However, much of this youth has no access to internet, we try to achieve through informal networks of organizations and associations Youth distributed in Morocco and we are part oh them.
- Costs: What expenses are involved? Who benefits from the work? Who currently supports it, how and why?
Each activity requires direct financing, usually transport, sometimes accommodation if our actions more than one day.
Students and young people are the direct beneficiaries of any action. We want to train and educate young people in decision-making.
Our Affiliate associations of Youth, help us through training workshops and proposals for improvement too. We also benefit from their networks to reach more potential young together.
- Existing alternatives: Who else is doing similar or relevant work/offering similar things- locally and or elsewhere?
If we talk about target population, There are several groups that target young people, among them our partners, but for our mission, wich is the involvement of the youth in decision making, There are as associations who undertake civic and political groups; our work in Rojalnu, concerns their point of views and encouraging discussion and the creation of initiatives that improve and change for the better.
- Important players affecting the work? (locally and internationally)
Coordination within our network plays a vital role in the success of our work mainly with our partners. Which would be beneficial and certainly facilitate our work is to have direct contact with ministries to raise the voice of youth.
- Long term perspective: any Business or sustainability plan?
We attempt to form relays in each work we do and we encourage them to create synergies, either in the forms of organizations or also associations to ensure sustainability.
For educational or other campaigns, we bring together the recommendations in an official statement that is shared with decision-making bodies.
- Transportation and logistics?
We need sometimes generally transport and accommodation when actions take more than one day. As mentioned before, having a well-equipped room will be a great incentive for groups to work there during their free time.
- Regulation and policy affecting this?
- What does the concept of pooling resources mean to you?
The working group, gathering energy and manage to effectively share tasks. But what is very important is to keep a source of motivation to feed the energy, resources and time provided by each group member.
- How about the concepts of Collaboration ..and Mutual Support?
One of the best sayings summarizing these concepts: If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go in groups.