Atlas for Development – Morocco
Change Starts with Small Steps
It’s time for youth to shine.
|If youth are the future leaders, Let us be prepared for this future before it actually arrives.
Atlas for Development (Atlas4dev) could be one of the youngest organizations in Morocco, established in 2018, but its capacity and vision marked innovatively on the individual, national, and the global level in a very short period. Believing that the planet should be a home to the largest generation of young people, Atlas4dev seeks to shape their societies, empower peers, and not leave anyone behind. However, youth are not heard by decision makers, and are not part of the decision.
Atlas For Development is a nonprofit Moroccan organization that aims to contribute to youth and women empowerment in Morocco and with a purpose of promoting civic, economic and social-cultural rights through inclusive community projects.
|We need leaders but the leaders need youth.
Atlas for Development started with a vision for a bunch of enthusiastic & creative minds who met to initiate a youth-led organization that aims to reinforce the social dialogue between youth and decision-makers, build youth capacities to contribute to local, sustainable development via inclusive projects, and establish a strong foothold for youth in the local governance.
|Each story has hope. #TheirSDGs Story
Atlas for development believes that each story has hope. When people share their stories, they show perseverance to make their lives, as well as others, better. Atlas for development marks these stories, highlighted with the SDGs goals.
“Future is female” Khadija, the “watchwoman”, decided to challenge the gender stereotype in Moroccan society and become a car keeper to protect and watch over cars in each street is a very common informal job.
Fatima in Essaouira city, a marginalized area in Morocco, has to walk 20KM on foot to fetch water from the well to secure the needs of water for her house, husband, and 5 children, where they don’t have access to clean water and sanitation.
“Volunteering is the key to success”: Soukaina, project coordinator within the organization, collaborated voluntarily with Corps Africa; she spent a year in a douar (village) in the Alhaouz region, committed to promoting objectives 4, 5, 13, and 15 of the sustainable development agenda. Soukaina became a catalyst for change within vulnerable communities.
The organization interacted with more than 200 children and young people, more than 120 women, and boosted community work with training, entrepreneurial sense of women, and raising awareness about the importance of sustainable agriculture in rural areas.
|Between 2018 and 2020, Atlas For Development worked on 3 initiatives; the major one is the 2063 Academy, and involved more than 800 young communities change leaders. It organized 2 intergenerational dialogues.
What started with 2 volunteers ended up with 20 volunteers by 2020. Atlas participated in more than 14 events as an African initiative and partnered up with 35 partners (NGOs and international embassies), and participated among 44 African countries in the 2063 agenda implementation.
|Peace Boat: the Moroccan Journey
In partnership with the UN SDG Action Campaign, Atlas for Development and the Council of Young Leaders of Tangier initiated the Peace Boat in which young people travel aboard the ship to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change and discover a new type of dialogue called “The Talanoa Dialogue” which is a “storytelling without concealment.” A process of inclusive, participatory, and transparent dialogue. That is by sharing personal stories to lay a foundation, and identifying common goals.
|Academy to achieve Agenda 2063
The Future we want in Africa.
Atlas for development aimed to create opportunities for young people to actively participate and engage with the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union agenda 2063.
Believing in the need to create common ground between youth and decision-makers, Atlas for Development aims to change the community by co-leadership. It initiated an academy to achieve Agenda 2063, which entails a roadmap for young people to realize the “Future we want for Africa”. That is, an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens, and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”.
The academy succeeded in creating a platform for youth to exchange ideas and experiences with seniors, and experts, build their capacities in different fields and focus on soft skills such as debate and policy analysis. Youth exchanged what they have learned freely through intergenerational dialogue with high levels and decision-makers on topics related to the SDGs. Then, the youth shared what they learned to the public and listened to their recommendations.
The first edition of the 2063 Academy in 2019 tackled two major topics: Education and Health.
The second edition tackled Climate change and Gender equality: 280 participants, 44 African states
|2063 Academy Initiative as one of the promising African projects led by youth.
The African Union Youth Envoy valued the 2063 Academy, applauded the initiative, and encouraged it to be continental, not only regional.
The 2063 Academy succeeded in gathering over 300 youth from more than 35 nationalities across the African Continent. They have partnered with the Swiss embassy in Morocco, the French Embassy, the Ministry of foreign affairs, the African Union, the Special Envoy for Youth to the African Union, Peace First, Peace Boat, a Coalition composed of 45 NGOs in Africa, and -Erasmus+ Morocco.
|Outreach… Moving beyond normality, implies doing things differently
Proud to be #youth, Atlas for Development alumni believed that inclusion, and education, should not be forgotten. During COVID-19, they outreached youth in refugee camps in Malaw (Dzaleka and Zomba Lake camps), where they raised awareness to the fishermen on the impact of climate change on the fishing industry.
The 2063 Academy initiative has been chosen by the SDG Action Zone to be presented at the United Nations General Assembly 2019 in New York; it was presented as a space to break out and engage partners for transformative SDG action in new and innovative ways.
Atlas4dev was honored to be among the selected debate hubs with Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) in seeking to empower young people and enhance a culture of dialogue, contributing to public policy and having their say in local and national issues concerning the Sustainable Development Goals.
Atlas4dev believes …. “As Leaders we Ought to tap in the creativity, energy and Enthusiasm of young people
|Atlas for development