Written by CorpsAfrica/Maroc Volunteer Ms. Souad Laghssais
I first experienced CorpsAfrica/Maroc through pre-service training, to know more about CorpsAfrica and its mission and to understand what exactly Volunteer service would entail. After one month the training and preparing, the “swear-in” moment came, and it was the best moment of my life. I felt (and still feel!) that I have a big responsibility for my service with CorpsAfrica. After taking the oath, I got ready to start my service. I was very excited when I learned that I would serve in the Dukkala Region of Morocco; I had always heard a lot of things about the area but I never dreamed I would live there for one year of community service and volunteering.
I spent the first month with a host family in my lovely site, and little by little I integrated into the new community, new host family, and small village. The host family is very important for integrating quickly into the community, but after one month of living with them, I decided to take the opportunity to live alone for the first time in my life. Living alone was very difficult during the initial days, but it went well after that. I started into my schedule of doing community service at the high school, youth center, and local associations. Soon, I started conducting workshops and activities with the women, kids, and girls. These programs helped me to be someone special in the community. The people have loved me, respected me, and invited me to share the best moments that they had to offer, like celebrations and other events. I really feel in love with my community, and I wanted to share the most important things that this beautiful experience with CorpsAfrica/Maroc has taught me.
- I’ve learned how to work with children! And, I’ve learned that I like them. Before coming to my site, I’d never interacted with a young child. Now, I’ve had host siblings ages, 6, 9, 11, and 12, and I’ve had students and friends of every other age.
- I’ve learned when you help people or teach them something, you are also learning from them, and this helps one acquire more skills and experience. Thus, being a volunteer is very beneficial for increasing self-knowledge. Being a Volunteer can make you inspire others and be their real model, as to take initiatives and do something for others as well, and from here the circle goes on.
- I’ve learned that voluntary work gives me more time to be a creative person, to think about myself more, to care about myself away from my family.
I’ve learned how strong I am. I can handle so much more than I had ever imagined. I’m an optimistic person and I can stand up for myself now. That used to be difficult for me, but my list of successes grows longer every day. I’ve found strength I never knew I had. When I look back at my list, I’m always so proud of myself.