Casablanca — Morocco's annual solidarity initiative is focused on preparing young people for work.
New training centres aim to improve the employability of young Moroccans.
As part of the kick-off events for the 15th annual National Solidarity Campaign on Wednesday (November 7th), King Mohammed VI opened one such facility in Marrakech.
The site will offer vocational instruction in the building trades and public works sector. Another new centre will focus on training for the handicraft industry.
The projects are among several initiatives aimed at helping poor citizens, supporting youth employment and strengthening relations between different segments of society.
Under the slogan, "United for the Destitute", this year's solidarity campaign prioritises youth and women, Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity communications chief, Kais Ben Yahia said.
"Many studies have shown that illiteracy and crime rates are highest among the destitute," sociology professor Morchidi Abdellatif said.
"That's why a young person who is unemployed and socially vulnerable often finds the perfect solution to his problems in radical ideology or crime," he told Magharebia.
According to Rabat lawyer and community leader Fatima Yettou, social problems, ignorance and marginalisation are among the factors that lead young people to extremism.
"The Solidarity Campaign, which has been launched and supported by the upper echelons of the Moroccan government, looks to plug these dangerous gaps and promote cohesion and social peace," Yettou said.
The Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity has already helped over four million beneficiaries, including 7,000 female students admitted to residential and boarding schools and 5,150 youth enrolled in vocational training courses.
Samir and Khalid, two young men from the Casablanca shantytown of Sidi Moumen, are among the beneficiaries of the national solidarity initiative. They have been receiving training at a mechanical technology college for over a year.
"We didn't have the means to peruse our studies, but thanks to the Foundation, we stand a chance of accessing even more promising opportunities in future," Samir said.
The 2003 attacks in Casablanca made it essential to review all aspects of life in Morocco, Islamic studies expert Omar Nadine noted.
"We have found that the big issues affecting this country were not only social and economic in nature, but also religious and cultural," he said.