Dialogue, Dinner, and Darija: Students Return to Morocco to Learn about the Country’s NGOs
At the start of the programme, students attended orientation sessions to familiarize themselves with the service landscape, pick up survival phrases in the local Arabic dialect, Darija, and learn about gender and public spaces in Morocco. While in Rabat, students visited organizations including The Moroccan Association for Family Planning, a local non-profit focusing on reproductive health and rights, Au Grain de Sesame, a social enterprise working with women artisans to improve their craft skills and demand living wages, and Verdaterre, an early-stage social enterprise helping Moroccan landowners create more cultivable land in Morocco’s semi-arid climate. Students contextualized their visits by attending guest lectures alongside local public university students. Dr. Lahcen Haddad, former minister of tourism, delivered a lecture on Morocco’s environmental policy plan and the future of sustainability in the country. Stephanie Bordat, a human rights lawyer and founder of a non-profit advocating to end gender-based violence in Morocco, spoke with students about her organization’s accomplishments and the remaining challenges in prosecuting and preventing gender-based violence under the current legal system.