Youth Development Specialist

Project Description

The Kingdom of Morocco is a country located in North Africa, and has an abundance of both natural resources and beauty. Morocco is a country in transition politically, socially, and economically, and the youth population in Morocco represents a dynamic demographic with enormous potential. Youth development has become a major focus for the government of Morocco, as youth unemployment is high and many youth are seeking opportunities to advance their skills for their future.

Thirty percent of Morocco’s population is between 15 and 29-years-old. While Moroccan youth have been responding to the crisis through public health promotion, volunteering, and innovation, they have been most vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused. Many youth will benefit from projects that focus on education, economic opportunities, and health, especially in rural areas.

Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) work with their local community partners on assessing youth needs, empowerment programming with youth as assets, and focus on life skills and civic responsibility. PCVs model and promote volunteerism in their communities and teach communicative English. Much of this work is done through activities in classes, clubs, and camps.

The Government of Morocco has demonstrated a robust response to the pandemic and over 65% of the population have received at least two doses of the vaccine. In support of the government prioritized response, depending on the status the pandemic in the country, PCVs may be asked to co-facilitate health education activities and programs that promote effective hand-washing, social distancing, and other positive health behaviors.

Digital and computer literacy is another priority focus in Morocco, and PCVs are asked to collaborate on community partner priorities to promote Information & Communication Technology (ICT) education. Digital literacy is recognized as an important life skill to complement and extend the skills and knowledge youth already learn in school.

Another area of interest to our partners is entrepreneurship-focused activities and programs that help prepare youth for the educational, social and career challenges of the 21st century. Some Volunteers with business development backgrounds will be asked to collaboratively assist in programming for implementing the Government of Morocco’s entrepreneurship initiative.

Volunteers live and work in rural, semi-urban, and urban communities throughout Morocco. Communities seeking to work with a PCV include those with at least one institution from the Ministry of Youth, Culture, Communication, including a youth center (Dar Chabab, literally “House of Youth” in Arabic) or a women’s center (Nedi Neswi), and complete a rigorous Peace Corps assessment process. When Volunteers arrive to their assigned community, they are also expected to sensitively initiate and expand their networks through meeting and collaborating with other local institutions and associations that provide services for youth. Since their work is largely unstructured, they will be responsible for building strong relationships with youth and community leaders in order to engage youth and establish activities and programs that respond to their needs and interests. It is by investing in your connections and relationships that your work will be sustained.

Girls’ education is a priority for Morocco. PCVs collaborate with their counterparts with emphasis on education, health and fitness, and empowerment-related activities for girls and young women. There are many opportunities for Volunteers to become involved in projects addressing girls and young women’s development, community development and youth enrichment.

Peace Corps Morocco provides high-quality language and technical training that starts the day Volunteers arrive. During Pre-Service Training (PST), Trainees are introduced to the key principles of positive youth development and methodologies for engaging youth and building life skills through classes, clubs, camps, and mentoring. They will also learn about community integration, participatory community assessments, and tools for communicating and engaging across cultures. Peace Corps Morocco is committed to providing all Volunteers with relevant professional and cultural training for effective service in their communities.

SPECIAL NOTICE ABOUT CITIZENSHIP: Candidates who are either dual citizens of Morocco and the U.S., who were born in Morocco, or whose parent(s) is a/are Moroccan citizens are not eligible to serve in Peace Corps Morocco. Under Moroccan law, an individual who meets any of these criteria is considered a citizen of Morocco and would have responsibilities (including payment of taxes) and treated as a Moroccan citizen while in Morocco which may limit the Peace Corps' ability to intervene in any legal matter or emergency situation. If you fit any of the identified categories, we encourage you to consider other assignments.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working with youth and one or more of the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field.
• 5 years' professional work experience.

Desired Skills

• Formal or informal classroom teaching experience, particularly English teaching.
• Experience working with youth ages 12-29 in after-school activities or other areas of non-formal education. Highly competitive applicants will have experience with youth in summer camps, clubs, sports, music, art, theater, volunteerism, and service-learning.
• Experience using appropriate technology to accomplish work virtually, including technology to support remote learning and youth programming.
• Demonstrated success working in unstructured or informal assignments; experience applying organizational skills in a community.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

During Pre-Service Training, all Trainees will learn Moroccan Arabic, also called Darija, which is distinct in some ways from classical Arabic. All Trainees are expected to achieve a Novice-High level of proficiency by the end of Pre-Service Training. Volunteers are expected to build on their language skills throughout service; ongoing language support is available in the form of tutoring and additional training. Toward the end of Pre-Service Training and during service, Volunteers may also learn an Amazigh language (Tashelheit, Tamazight, or Tarifit), depending on the language most commonly spoken in the community to which you are assigned.

Living Conditions

Morocco is a beautiful country with a rich history, unique traditions and culture, and wonderful cuisine. Communities where Volunteers are assigned vary greatly, depending on the region and climate. Volunteers could live in communities located in the desert, mountains, or a rural village. They may live in the same types of accommodations that families live in, including apartments and houses. As community members, Volunteers will experience utility availability just as those in their community including electricity, hot water, and even internet, and they should not expect consistent connectivity.

Pre-Service Training (PST) fosters the integration of Trainees in their communities through learning language and engaging in intercultural activities. The most effective Volunteers are the ones who are most integrated in their communities and its culture. PST includes a homestay with a Moroccan family, and Volunteers will also stay in host families for at least one month after arriving at their permanent communities. Host families offer Volunteers insights into local culture, traditions, and customs and offer an introduction into the community.

Morocco is a traditional, family-centered society with hierarchical and patriarchal leanings, and, by many American standards, fixed views on gender roles and expectations. Therefore, Volunteers must have mature interpersonal skills, a willingness to suspend judgment, and the ability to adapt and maturely navigate local norms and social customs, and abide by local laws throughout their service.

As foreigners, Volunteers may experience a lot of attention in their communities. Same-sex relationships are against the law, and sexual orientation and gender identities are considered taboo topics in Morocco. Volunteers must be discreet about their sexual orientation and gender identity within their host communities. All Peace Corps Morocco Volunteers receive training on appropriate measures to mitigate and respond to harassment. However, in Morocco, people frequently associate Americans with white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. Volunteers who do not fit these stereotypes often face additional challenges while integrating into their communities.

Volunteers of Color, particularly Black and Asian-American Volunteers, routinely experience high levels of unwanted attention, harassment, and discrimination. Black Volunteers have reported high levels of harassment in all areas of Morocco, and a contributing factor is prevailing Moroccan attitudes toward West African immigrants to Morocco. Asian-American Volunteers also receive unwanted attention because of their appearance and were subject to discrimination specifically with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic as the outbreak began in 2020.

Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for Volunteers of all backgrounds throughout service. Peace Corps Morocco has a variety of support structures, including a Volunteer Support Network and a Diversity Committee, to ensure Volunteers are able to discuss their concerns with peers and staff throughout service confidentially, as well as among the Peace Corps community and with their Moroccan contacts. Staff also plan a pre-service call with invitees before departure. Volunteers of a diverse range of backgrounds have been able to serve successfully in Morocco.

As Peace Corps Morocco continues to learn and revise its activities in a new context, it seeks Volunteers who are creative, flexible, and eager to seek out community needs around which to build a program of work. For additional information, please visit the Peace Corps Morocco website:

Serving in Morocco

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Morocco: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. At this time, Peace Corps Morocco is only able to place heterosexual couples who are legally married at the time of their arrival to Morocco. During the application process recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit:” Due to Morocco’s national laws and potential safety and security implications relating to relationships outside of marriage, domestic partners who are not legally married also may not serve together as a couple with Peace Corps Morocco.

Heterosexual married couples will live together for the duration of Peace Corps service. During Pre-Service Training and for a time in their permanent communities, couples will live together in a homestay environment.

After the one month homestay, couples may choose to move into independent housing. Please note that married couples may have separate work assignments with different organizations, but will be placed within the same community.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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