Tambghrabit ("Solidarity"): A One Foundation Transformative Journey in Morocco
In the framework of the FNF One Foundation exchange program, I dedicated three weeks to gaining firsthand insight into the work carried out by the FNF Morocco office.
Morocco plays a pivotal role in the FNF Madrid office's Mediterranean Dialogue project. This exchange experience has been instrumental in fortifying the connections between both offices (FNF Madrid and Morocco offices) and advancing the shared goals of the project, which aims to establish and strengthen the dialogue between Germany, the European Union, the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.
The One Foundation journey began in Rabat, where the initial days were dedicated to get a deep knowledge of the work of the FNF local team and showcasing the activities of the FNF Madrid office within the scope of the Mediterranean Dialogue project Additionally, a series of productive work meetings with essential partners in the country were held. Interacting with partners, experts and events participants was a key aspect of the program. The exchange of ideas, perspectives, and experiences among participants and experts enriched the experience.
Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean: Catalyst for Growth and Stability
The first destination was Marrakesh for the Ibda3 Lab entrepreneurship boot camp. Throughout history, this region has been a cradle of commerce, with ancient civilizations such as the Phoenicians and Greeks engaging in extensive trade networks. These early entrepreneurs laid the groundwork for the vibrant economic exchanges that continue to define the Mediterranean to this day. The entrepreneurial spirit ingrained in the region's DNA has the potential to serve as a catalyst for economic revitalization. And Ibda3 Lab is a is proof that this spirit is still in force.
Ibda3 Lab is a project initiated by FNF Morocco in partnership with Fondation Orient Occident. The program aims to encourage social innovation among youth in the fields of citizenship and entrepreneurship. The project focuses on creating a network of responsible and conscious innovators, relaunching a dynamic of social innovation and cultivating a spirit of initiative among beneficiaries and their communities.
Tambghrabit: A new sense of community
Then the shock! While we were in Marrakech for the the boot camp, the devastating earthquake struck Morocco, the strongest to hit the nation's center in over a century, with its epicenter not far from the city.
After ensuring the safety of all participants in the wake of the initial shock, we decided to continue with the program, though not without a conscientious response to appeals for assistance from national authorities, particularly regarding blood donations and support for the victims in local hospitals through donations of clothes and food—efforts in which all participants eagerly engaged.
This episode epitomized a profound sense of community, one that resonates deeply within me and is encapsulated by the term "Tambghrabit," which our FNF Morocco colleague, Chaimae Bourjij, aptly described as the Moroccan essence of solidarity. It represents a common thread that binds people together, inspiring them to stand united and extend a helping hand to those in need.
In a country engulfed in profound grief, the most crucial course of action is to keep the wheels of progress turning by creating opportunities, which are needed more than ever in such a context. Driven by the unbreakable spirit of solidarity, the FNF Morocco office stands united in this endeavor.
Let’s talk about climate!
Tangier was the selected spot to talk with young people about a very timely topic: Climate change.
During the three-day Climate Democracy Bootcamp, jointly organized by the local FNF office initiative, Youth Task Force, and Youth Policy Center, a comprehensive discussion unfolded on pertinent challenges like waste management, sustainable agriculture, eco-friendly mobility, and environmental education. Over twenty young individuals came together not only to absorb insights from experts in these fields but also to impart a profound message regarding the bolstering of young people's civic dedication to environmental policies.
This was also an opportunity for a presentation of the FNF Madrid report “Climate Change and Migration: Understanding Factors, Developing Opportunities in the Sahel Zone, West Africa, and the Maghreb”. This comprehensive report was carried out with our partners European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) and Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI). The report included data collection in Senegal and Morocco, interviews with local communities, and statistical analysis.
Bayt Al Fenn- The House of Art
The next destination on the One Foundation journey was Bayt al Fenn, meaning the House of Art. This annual project is a collaborative effort between the FNF Morocco office and the Hiba Foundation. Far more than a themed, multidisciplinary residency for young artists residing in Morocco, Bayt al Fenn stands as a testament to the transformative potential of art in both political and social spheres. It reinforces the belief that art, in its diverse forms, possesses the profound ability to ignite social change and breathe life into economic sectors.
Overall, the One Foundation Exchange Program in Morocco was a transformative journey that left an indelible mark in me thanks to the commitment and engagement of the FNF local team to make it a fruitful experience, to which I am extremely grateful. It was a true pleasure to work alongside such a dedicated and talented team and witness the real impact that activities and projects such as Ibda3 Lab, the Youth Task Force and Bayt Al Fenn (among others) have in local communities.