*In December 2016 via program “European Forum – Active Citizenship”, organised by MitOst e. V., Ruta Vimba as a representative of Kulturlabor Trial&Error e.V. took part in study visit to Morocco.
Already beforehand my dear host Siham had sent me a program with plan of visiting 5 or more NGOs in Morocco, working on environment, education, empowerment and culture. It was a great opportunity not only to learn about these amazing initiatives, but also make an order and improve my presentation and networking skills, learning to learn from such field visits.
Hereby please allow me to share very brief impressions of the visits:
Kane Ya Makane
Topics: fine arts, animation, education, women empowerment
Short: Professionally built, hierarchically structured and maintained organisation, facilitating a network of animators that teach art in over 25 schools. Additionally implementing project for women empowerment via arts. Large scale projects from local donations and international donors.
Interesting: In-house pedagogical stuff & interns developing the educational materials and guidelines.
Topics: circus, theatre, buttom-up, children education, social work, empowerment
Short: Yet located in a territory of abandoned slaughter house in neglected neighbourhood of Casablanca, it's like a lighthouse for the kids of the neighbourhood as well as those, who they visit with their travelling theatre and circus performances, or bus of mobile library. Working with recycled materials to create costumes, puppets, kinetic sculptures, they have developed their own unique approach to work with kids from the neighbourhood, often socially or economically disadvantaged. Invited through a vivid and colourful street performance, children join longer program to try out their skills in acting, various circus disciplines as well as arts and crafts.
Interesting: The stuff of the organisation live in circus caravans in the area, good part of the coworkers are ones who joined the educational program of Theatre Nomade years ago, now work with kids in the streets as animators.
Topics: cultural policy, networking, mapping, public space, tolerance, participation
Short: in a short time span grown from voluntary initiative into a serious and recognised organisation with employees and office, they are working on various projects related to human rights, culture, usage and access to the public space and culture in general. Amongst others, research on cultural actors, culture consumption, campaign for accessibility of the public space. Using art as a tool to rise discussions about taboo topics in society, for example, women rights or racism.
Interesting: the extensive map of moroccan cultural actors - http://www.artmap.ma/
Dar Si Hmad
Topics: education, culture preservation, environment, women empowerment, innovation
Short: Smallest of all the NGOs visited, it surprised with the scale, innovative aspects, variety of projects. The central topic is the Cloud Fisher - technology to collect water from fog in the dry mountain regions. Around that, working on education, gender, science and community management, they manage a holistic approach to the issue. Worth mentioning is the volunteering & education program for youth Environmental Youth Ambassadors .
Interesting: Impressive capacity using minimal resources. Valuable experience working with local communities linking traditional lifestyle with scientific innovations.
The visit to Tiznit was special, because of opportunity to hold a workshop/ presentation to a group of people working in all levels of re-& upcycling initiatives around Tiznit. I just would like to share links of some of the participants:
Artisan Hassan Asoughay
Short: truly inspirational example of recycling, environmental awareness, traditional craft techniques. Having left school early, Hassan has found her way as a craftsman, making qualitative and weareable shoes, bags, carpets and other items, using recycled materials. An example of upcycling as a potential for entrepreneurship.
Interesting: planning to start urban gardening project in his town.
Short: looking for her own way, the artist Mery Baya found herself doing decorations, gift boxed and interior objects, using upcycled materials.. She is dreaming of becoming independent artist, doing recycling art for living
SAM'Art - DIY
Short: working as a language teacher, the young Samira is also full time community activist, co-organising social events, doing public interventions to empower those with fewer opportunities. Her SAM'Art DIY page shares the self-tested samples of doing crafts and artis with children, using recycled material.