Youth Autumn School in Morocco: youth and political engagement for an alternative world
From 12 to 14 October 2012, nearly 200 young participants from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania and Tunisia gathered in Bouznika (Morocco) for the Youth Autumn School on “Youth and Political Engagement for an Alternative World”. Several seminars and workshops helped them to enhance their capacity to conduct policy analysis, to build alternative models of society and to lead advocacy actions.
The event was organized by the UNESCO Office in Rabat, the Forum des Alternatives Maroc (FMAS)/Action Jeunesse, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in cooperation with the Moroccan National Commission for UNESCO.
In this time of crisis, the Youth Autumn School aimed in particular to help young people to build alternative visions of society, thus strengthening their leaders’ capacities (theoretical knowledge and practical skills) in advocacy and civic commitment.
The approach adopted was as follows:
- At the upstream stage, 20 ‘cafés liberté’ were organized at the regional level during September 2012, to assist the young participants in preparing their analysis and proposals;
- during the School, seminars and workshops were held to discuss and consolidate their proposals, and lead to the final memorandum.
During 3 days, 6 thematic seminars took place, followed by corresponding workshops to deepen the participants’ alternatives:
- What kind of Youth Council towards what kind of youth public policy?
- Challenges of participative democracy;
- Democratic transition: what is at stake?
- Gender equality: how do young people engage themselves?
- Social movements: modalities of action / driving force for proposal and change / role during democratic transition;
- Youth and culture: what role in building a culture of citizenship and of freedom?
Moreover, two training workshops on policy analysis and on participative techniques were offered.
This activity is part of UNESCO's actions with and in favour of youth, especially in the framework of its Strategy on African Youth (2009-2013). UNESCO focuses its efforts in promoting full and relevant participation of youth in their society.
- Chouaib Elazar, Programme Jeunesse / Forum des Alternatives (FMAS) Maroc, ajmaroc(at)gmail.com / fmas(at)menara.ma
- Phinith Chanthalangsy, Bureau de l'UNESCO à Rabat, p.chanthalangsy(at)unesco.org