Salé — A large-scale Morocco civil society initiative presented a progress report on November 2nd.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) held events in Fez and Salé to discuss results of its "Sanad" programme. The three-year-old project supports activities in the youth employment and training, consumer protection, education and other sectors.
The project has disbursed 50,000 grants, benefited 1,000 associations and supported 1,500 young people, Sanad project director Vincent Carbonneau said. He added that some 10,000 people had also benefited from training programmes.
"We would like to thank the USAID and the US government for the support they have given to this project," Salé mayor Abdeslam Bekrate said last Friday. "Sanad is a model project because the human element is its main pivot," he said.
The National Human Development Initiative, which is a main partner in the Sanad project, is based on supporting Moroccan citizens, he said. The project helped "put an end to decisions that always come from above, i.e. from administration," he explained.
"Administration must be in the service of people who have projects and want to help build this country," the mayor added.
One goal of the project, he said, was to "rehabilitate people to be effective in their daily work and help them interact with all community projects in their area".
Judith Chammas, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, said, "We're proud of the result of co-operation between the US administration and the Moroccan civil society in the last three years through Sanad."
Citing the "old friendship" between Morocco and the US, she said that the Sanad project embodied "the nature of this partnership".
"Sanad has enabled citizens to directly take part in examining their needs and solving the problems facing their neighbourhoods," the US diplomat said. "This co-operation has led to the creation of the Provincial Youth Council in Salé," she noted.
Abdelouahed Zyate of the National Civil Coalition for Reform also addressed the gathering about the project's success. His organisation is among the Moroccan entities that have benefited from Sanad.
"The initiatives we launched in partnership with the programme have added value to youth issues," he said. "What we wanted to do was expand youth participation in decision-making within institutions, enable young people to have the necessary consultation techniques, promote youth issues on the local and national levels and integrate youth in public policies," Zyate added.
Sanad helped his group achieve their objectives.