CLIMB Club Midelt 2019

  • Environment
  • Youth
  • Morocco
This project is led by Austin Swan, a Volunteer from Virginia

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Creating Leadership in the Mountains and Beyond (CLIMB) is an outdoor educational leadership program developed for youth in Morocco. During the summer, I discovered the project from another Peace Corps volunteer as he successfully implemented the program in his community. His program focused on environmental education and leadership. I was impressed by the community participation, implementation, and the successful outcomes of the project. My Moroccan counterparts and I have taken the project and made it applicable for our community. We focused our program on four objects: To explore and foster an appreciation for the environment among youth in our communities, to provide an environment that encourages and supports self-discovery and self-awareness, To develop critical thinking and decision-making skills, and To teach youth about healthy lifestyles and necessary survival skills. The 13 sessions and 4 educational hikes planned will foster an atmosphere of learning and meet our overall objectives. The sessions will be facilitated by 7 different Moroccans, either counterparts or presidents of associations and all sessions will be conducted at the youth center with support and some funding from the director of the center.

As meeting the program goals is vastly important, the program will also allow youth to experience service learning and develop intimate experiences and relationships among their peers. This will further the idea of volunteerism and impact Midelt greatly in the future.

The Interest for projects such as CLIMB was already within the community of Midelt. It started as a conversation between Said, my counterpart, and myself. He wanted to create Trash Bins for the main road. We talked about how it would help the city and create an awareness against littering. Eventually we came up with the idea for a service learning environment project but it was implemented into our CLIMB project. After identifying two other Counterparts, we visited many local associations and gained their support. The director of my youth center also offered the space as well as volunteered to look into transportation and insurance for the participants. With the participates coming from multiple associations, they can spread the service learning to many aspects of Midelt. The team is currently, two teachers, a Peace Corps Language and Cultural Facilitator, two association presidents, and the director of the youth center. The success of this project will be determined by the community as they are the driving force.

Once the CLIMB Program in Midelt has concluded, the youth will have developed an appreciation and learned the importance of the environment, Health, the local terrain, and the local culture, as well as been trained in leadership, critical thinking, team work, and project planning.

I have the utmost confidence that the youth of Midelt and my counterparts will continue the project into the future. My main counterpart Said plans to continue the project every summer through a local association. This project has changed the goals and objectives of the association to focus more on youth development in rural mountain towns.

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