In late July, I was sent to Oujda to interview a few young clients who received “100 hours for success” training from MEDA Maroc. I took the (quite comfortable) overnight train from Casablanca and arrived in Oujda, right by the Algerian border to the East, on the next day.
After having checked-in at the hotel, we promptly set off for the MEDA Maroc Oujda office and I met with our local staff. I was soon thereafter interviewing the first client, Fatima Zahra, who plans on opening her own clothing store once she gets enough experience in the field and has put aside enough money.
Later that day, I had a long and engaging two-way discussion with a group of youth after a “100 hours for success” session and was able to gain a lot of mileage as to the real-life skills and the hope MEDA Maroc’s program instills in Moroccan youth, enabling them to reach for their dreams and achieve whatever they set out to do. I’ve met and interviewed a few more youth and was able to collect valuable information and success stories.
I’ve also interviewed one of our trainers, Azouz. I was thus able to gain a trainer’s insider’s perspective on the challenges of training youth in the field of microfinance and the challenges faced by microcredit institutions and professionals in Morocco generally. Azouz has seen lots of his former students go on and achieve their dreams, thereby empowering their families and communities.
I was also introduced to our partners on the field, and indeed, our work’s effectiveness is enhanced thanks to the collaborative spirit of all those who want to create change in their societies. As it was Ramadan, we did not eat during the day, but it made the sunset ftour “break-fast” so much more delicious.
My two days in Oujda were quite enjoyable and fruitful and I hope to come back and meet our clients and team here again soon.