The Peace Corps is an independent United States Government agency that provides Volunteers to countries at the formal request of their governments. President John F. Kennedy officially established the Peace Corps in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship through the achievement of three enduring goals:
- Helping people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained men and women.
- Helping to promote a better understanding of American people on the part of the peoples served.
- Helping to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of American people.
The Peace Corps and Morocco
Morocco was one of the first countries to invite the Peace Corps. The initial group of Volunteers arrived in 1963 at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Throughout the course of this partnership over 5000 Volunteers have served the Kingdom in a number of different capacities.
In 2011 the organization began its official shift to a single sector, Youth Development, working with a single partner organization, the Ministry of Youth and Sport. Volunteers are assigned to youth centers operated by the Ministry of Youth and Sport where they work in close collaboration with and under the supervision of local ministry staff.
The Youth Development program in Morocco aims to assist youth in becoming productive and civically engaged adults, through activities and projects that strengthen the life skills of youth, build the capacity of youth to productive members of their communities and to increase their ability of youth to communicate in English. These outcomes are accomplished through a variety of camps, classes, clubs and projects Volunteers manage with their Moroccan counterparts.
Upon arrival in Morocco, Peace Corps Volunteers undergo an intensive 11-week language (predominantly Dirija), cultural, health, safety and technical training program. The majority of the training time is spent with Moroccan Language and Cultural Facilitators. Volunteers live with Moroccan families for the duration of the 11-week training program, as well as the first few months of service at their permanent site. These family relationships are the grounding force of a Volunteer’s experience.
Volunteers receive a living allowance, which is commensurate with the living standards of their local community.