Written by CorpsAfrica/Maroc Volunteer Ms. Fatiha Tachakourt
I always had this idea of working in the social field. In my last years of college, I started working as an environmental educator with two programs for children who came from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Aitbaamrane region. I taught them about the environmental challenges that the region is facing, and how vital it is to be involved in sustaining local natural resources.
I believe that these kids are the future social and political actors who will put these environmental issues on the public policy agenda. Words cannot describe how my heart feels at home when I get a WhatsApp message or a call from one of my past students.
A few years later, I learned about the CorpsAfrica volunteering opportunity, and I told myself that this is my chance to get involved and be the change I wish to see in the world. When I first heard about volunteerism, I thought the volunteer should do everything and bring the project to the community, but CorpsAfrica’s philosophy is different. It is you, the volunteer, who needs to rediscover yourself – to find skills you didn’t realize you had. I myself have so much to learn about places and people, and, most importantly, gratitude for my own life. Yes, the community still needs skills and experiences, however, the service could be more impactful and sustainable when it is accomplished collaboratively and comes from within the community.
To succeed in a humanitarian mission, you better arrive with an open heart, listen to peoples’ stories, and feel their history. Life teaches us and tests us in different ways, moving us out of our comfort zones and pushing us to step foot in a new environment could be challenging. Volunteering provides learning opportunities; we learn about ourselves, local communities, and how to make change, as well as new, unexpected approaches to make that change happen.