If you ever wondered, what are we doing for work over here….here’s the post for you!
We do a lot of non-work work stuff, like being good examples of Americans. We talk about American culture and learn about Moroccan culture, to share with our friends and family back home. We do these things every day (and learning Arabic is practically a full-time job in itself). These are the 2nd and 3rd goals of Peace Corps.
The first goal of Peace Corps is providing technical skills/services to the community you live in (what you are probably thinking when you think “work”); and our sector of Peace Corps (Youth Development) wants us to focus on the youth and women of our community, in terms of healthy lifestyles and employablity (for example).
It’s been slow to get things moving over here, but we have a lot of momentum and it’s been very fulfilling! So here’s a short list of what we’ve been doing, with brief descriptions and more details to follow in posts on each individual project.
English Teacher’s Club: We have a group of 14 youth who are either in university, studying English, or have recently graduated with degrees in English. These amazingly motivated youth teach 5 English classes each week. We also meet once a week to discuss our classes, give a training on teaching styles, techniques, etc., anything to help our program continue to be successful and fulfilling.
Advanced English: Marc and I teach Advanced English once a week. Each week we do something different – the first week is Book Club, the next is Games/Competitions, the next is Writing Club (focusing mainly on Journalism right now), and the last week of the month is a Culture Class.
Public Speaking: Marc meets with Advanced English students once a week to learn and practice public speaking.
Book Club: In addition to the monthly Book Club in the Advanced English class, I have a small group of students from my Advanced English class that want to read full novels. This is just starting right now; we will meet outside of class, and it’ll be very informal, like a Book Club you’d find in the States (or at least that’s my vision). Considering Book Club is my favorite class that I teach, you can imagine how much I’m going to love this!
Model UN: After a successful Model UN Training of Teachers in October, we are currently implementing a curriculum at our Dar Chebab to teach 20 dedicated students everything they need to know to participate in a national Model UN Conference in January 2016 that is being organized by me, other Peace Corps Volunteers, and our Moroccan Counterparts.
Grassroots Soccer: We have a group of 8 Moroccan Counterparts that are helping us teach a curriculum developed by Grassroots Soccer to teach kids about HIV and AIDS, while playing soccer.
Yoga: I currently teach 2 yoga classes a week at a Women’s Center. Mainly teenagers attend my classes, but I hope to be adding another class for older women. This is probably my second favorite thing that I do (a close second to Book Club).
And here’s our upcoming projects:
G.L.O.W. Camp (Girls Leading our World): A GLOW camp is currently being planned by Peace Corps Volunteers for the beginning of February. Over 100 girls (ages 14-20) from all over the Mid-North Region of Morocco will attend the week-long camp to learn and discuss leadership, healthy lifestyles, healthy relationship, self-image, self-esteem, career and goal-setting, arts, and….wait for it….a whole day about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)!!! Obviously, I’m excited to spend a day introducing girls to STEM projects and ideas, and this is my responsibility in the camp planning! This is pretty much a best-case scenario for what I envisioned my Peace Corps service to look like, so I’m excited to start to working on it.
Life Skills: A counterpart and I recently attended a training in Marrakesh on teach Life Skills in our community. We hope to start implementing that program in January or February, at the start of the next semester.
Business Club: Marc and a counterpart recently attended a training provided by INJAZ, an internal branch of Junior Achievement. He hopes to implement this program soon as well.
C.L.I.M.B. (Creating Leadership in the Mountains and Beyond): CLIMB is a program developed by Moroccan Peace Corps Volunteers that teaches youth about the environment, leadership, team-building, critical thinking, nutrition and hydration, first aid, and other important skills. We will meet once a week to learn these skills; and at least once a month, we will go on a hiking excursion to somewhere new. Each month the hikes will be more challenging and eventually the program will culminate in a 3-day hike up Mount Toubkal (the highest point in North Africa). Marc has recently finished writing the grant; pending it’s approval and completed fundraising, we will start in January/February. Inshallah.