As a participant in the Active Citizens community workshops with the FOBDEC organization in my nice, small city, Zagora, in the south east of Morocco, and as a participant in the international component of the programme through the International Study Visit (ISV) London UK and hosting ISV in Morocco, I developed transferable skills as an individual as well as an understanding of the goals of an Active Citizen.
Travelling around the world to celebrate diversity in others was a childhood dream that was never going to be easy here in Morocco. But what about a trip of just a week that allows you to meet the world all in one go and find yourself globally connected! This is how I see the International Study visit. Thanks to the British Council I met a peaceful world in one week, and then I learned that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, or what your culture or religion is, it’s all about the peaceful goals we share as Active Citizens.
The international study visit has taught me how to be more sociable, adaptable and flexible and, most importantly, how to understand diversity and a sense of co-operation much better. It has helped me figure out situations even when I can’t understand them. It has made me more independent, more open, and, overall, just a better person. There’s no reason to be scared to improve yourself and to help others to do so. You would be surprised how often you can surprise yourself.
In London I also had the chance to visit many interesting, development charities in order to learn about social action projects. I also had the opportunity to meet and discuss with parliamentarians and ask them different questions about youth and participation in politics and more interesting questions during a visit to the Houses of Parliament in London.
I was also proud to host the community visit of the international study visitors in Morocco, and present the social action projects from Morocco. I tried to do this in the best way that I could and let participants know more about our rich ideas for social action projects in my community and our amazing, proud culture.
As a result of developing a positive working relationship with my ISV host organizations in London, I was offered, and completed, a one-month internship in London, which enabled me to improve my fluency in spoken and written English as well as developing my understanding of project management and human resources management in developing a recruitment strategy for the organization. This complemented my current Masters study in my country as a part of my final project. Although I am only at the start of my career, I feel my voluntary roles and internships alongside my experience with the British Council give me a strong base that will allow me to contribute successfully to my personal career and my overall goals in the future.
Also the ISV visit and subsequent internship in London brought me into contact with a range of British NGOs and I had the opportunity to have some lengthy discussions about NGOs in Britain and the challenges they are facing. I built up some good contacts and networks in Britain and I aim to retain and build on these relationships through ongoing contact on social media.
Khadija El Barkaoui