Morocco: Coordinating young volunteers for development
« I discovered volunteering as a human and social value at a very young age, when we were playing with friends and rushing to carry our neighbors’ groceries or hurrying to deliver bread in exchange of a small piece for ourselves».
Today, Oussama Aoumi Tioua, 23 years old, is a music teacher and works with associations and charities in Morocco. He witnesses the plight of his country, and works to participate in its development through volunteering.
Oussama’s commitment to volunteering is clear: during his childhood and teen years he led clubs, associations and extracurricular organizations, which motivated him to create, in September 2012, the Moroccan Organization for Young Volunteers (Organisation Marocaine des Jeunes Volontaires – OMJV). Present in several cities in Morocco (Larache, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez and Tiznit), it aims to institutionalize the values of volunteering and civic engagement.
Since 2012, Oussama is the coordinator of the OMJV, with all the challenges and obstacles this role implies. With OMJV, he participated in training new young volunteers, instilling them skills and positive values, as well as supervising their work.
Thanks to the support of other volunteers across various Moroccan cities, Oussama has been involved in promoting volunteerism and civic engagement through medical caravans and regular blood donation campaigns, as well as Iftar meals offered to the poor during the month of Ramadan. These operations are conducted in more impoverished regions of the country, and contribute to their social development.
« This experience in the world of volunteering helped me discover that the term ‘volunteerism’ means life, hope, change and development; a change everyone aspires to, whether in their closest environment, or far from home».
According to Oussama, the institutionalization of volunteering and civic engagement is now becoming a prerequisite for achieving social, economic and political development in Morocco. That is OMJV’s mission, which it aims to fulfill by relying on several key vehicles to promote the culture of volunteerism and support youth’s efforts for change. This complements another principal axis of the organization’s goals: to build a legal framework for the rights and duties of volunteers in Morocco, in partnership with various organizations and thematic groups.
OMJV is an open space for Moroccans to participate in their country’s development. It bases its activities on the regional perceptions and adapts them to local specificities. « Through these activities, OMJV constitutes a Moroccan civic framework to achieve the desired change that every Moroccan, especially the youth, aims to see in their country ».
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development, and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.