‘If you do not risk anything, you risk even more’ Faouzi Skali

February 20, 2019 | Kaltoum, Spécialisé - Études des conflits et droits humains, Maroc, Forum des Fédérations

It’s been just over a month since I have arrived in Morocco and I’m still mesmerized by this beautiful country. I’m a 4th year student in the Conflict Studies and Human Rights program. This internship puts everything I’ve learned in my academic life to test. For me, what distinguishes a mediocre experience from an exceptional one is how the experience itself shapes us. An unexceptional experience still allows us to discover our deepest inner self, but an exceptional experience totally transforms us.

I’ve decided to pursue humanities studies to better understand the world that surrounds us, the international policies that shapes us and the organizations that ensure that these policies are not only respected but revised to answer today’s reality.

So far, the decision of allowing myself to go through this experience has exposed me to many obstacles but also many proud moments.

Living the experience through the Forum of Federations - Understanding the Forum

Created in 1999 by the Government of Canada, the Forum seeks to promote and strengthen inclusive governance, pluralism and gender equality in federal, decentralized and transitioning federal countries. More than 20 countries around the world have worked with the Forum and contributed to its success.

This being said, working as in intern for the Forum in Morocco and assisting them in their mission to promote and fight for gender equality through their project « Autonomisation des femmes pour les rôles de Leadership dans le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord : Jordanie, Maroc et Tunisie » has opened my eyes to so many new issues. Issues I’ve never crossed nor exchanged during my lectures at the University.

As a Program Officer, my tasks include but are not limited to:
● Preparing contracts between partners, members and clients.
● Assisting and participating during workshops. Engaging conversations between the participants and me.
● Logistic and administrative support.
● Writing summary and progress reports of the activities and workshops.
● Drafting presentations for my director.
● Conducting comparative and analytical research.

From the theoretical journey to the practical journey

Although my program of study seeks to promote intellectual dialogue and debates regarding important issues such as food security, wealth inequality, climate change etc., rare were the occasions where we took the time to apprehend and grasp the struggles women go through outside the context of war.

Provided that, ignoring the issues surrounding women and only focusing on the harm done to them leads to no solution nor substantial conclusion. This internship, particularly working for the Forum of Federations, has helped me to understand the importance of recognizing and valuing the role women play; not only to endorse democracy but also to find solutions for other social issues. You quickly realize how everything is interconnected.

Participating in activities led by my organization and witnessing how the women interacted with each other by sharing their ideas and testimonies proved to be a great learning experience. Listening to these women and talking to them was a humbling experience. You quickly notice their strength but most importantly how resilient and courageous they truly are. I started working at the organization with the mindset of “Wow they are so behind compared to Canada” that changed to “Despite the lack of tools and resources available, these women are standing up for themselves and creating their own tools collectively”.

Finally, being an intern really gives you an insight of the “Real world”. It allows you to understand the role you play and can actively play to transform this forever-changing world.

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