Morocco Community Center Brings Hope to Youth in Slums

Creating a Children’s Refuge in Morocco’s Worst Slums

In many of Africa’s slums, extreme poverty often leaves the children who grow up in these areas without hope or a chance to escape from the cycle of poverty. The two most deadly recent suicide bomb attacks in Morocco, fueled by disillusionment over social and economic conditions, were carried out by young men from the country’s most impoverished slums.  In Casablanca’s Sidi Moumen slum, however, community organizer Boubker Mazoz has created a refuge for the children in this marginalized community.

The Sidi Moumen Cultural Center’s newest project is a blog called Words for Change, which features posts written by the kids that come to the center. The organization Idmaj (Arabic for “integration”), which runs the center, focuses primarily on building self-esteem and pride in the community among the youth of Sidi Moumen.  In addition to the classrooms and computers at the center, where students can learn French and English among other subjects, there are also opportunities to get involved in sports, drama, and debate.

Mr. Mazoz and the Sidi Moumen Cultural Center are working to empower Morocco’s most vulnerable youth as part of a sustainable solution to poverty in the region.

Read more from the New York Times Africa Page.

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