EMY – Empowering Moroccan Youth

What is EMY?

EMY is one of Connect Institute’s programs aiming at empowering youth from Agadir region, by enhancing their soft skills, developing their talents, and connecting them to a network. EMY participants are inspired to become self-driven, open minded and aspiring leaders of the Moroccan society.

The sessions:
  • DARDACHA – weekly debate session in which our participants and staff members get to discuss articles from media, do presentations, and exchange ideas.
  • GROW – weekly seminar facilitated by Dr. Taha Balafrej that inspires critical thinking within the minds of participants as well as increases their general knowledge.
  • ACTING – weekly session that aims to enhance the participants’ self confidence, body language, self esteem, public speaking skills, and creativity. The session is taught in English by Mrs. Rosalia Stamakos, an experienced drama teacher.
  • CREATIVE WRITING weekly session that helps participants better understand themselves, their society, and the complexity of the world they live in through writing.
  • TALK – weekly session in which the participants get to practice their English, develop their vocabulary, and broaden their knowledge about other cultures.
  • TECH – facilitated by Mehdi Reghai, a Moroccan entrepreneur and blogger. During the weekly sessions, Reghai advises our participants on how they can transform their ideas into concrete projects.
  • [P+100+20] – an exercise that encourages our participants to read more, practice their writing skills, and help them learn how to defend their opinions to build stronger arguments. Each week, the participants are recommended to read from the assigned books, make the synthesis of an article in 100 words, and send a 20 second video in which they talk about something of interest for them.
  • JUMP – a series of seminars with professionals from different fields of expertise and businesses aiming at inspiring our participants and help them to develop their own projects.
  • LIFE – weekly session aiming at helping the participants develop self-awareness, understand ones’ strengths, and how to defeat their weaknesses.
  • LAB – co-working sessions in which the participants are accompanied to work on concrete details leading to the development of their own business projects.
  • NET – weekly session where the participants are taught how to transform the web and the social networks into useful tools that will help them in their professional endeavors.
  • MASTERCLASSES – monthly seminar focusing on different fields such as Contemporary Art in Morocco, music, cinema, theatre, human rights, etc. During each MasterClass, a professional is invited to work with a limited number of participants who are interested in specializing in a certain field. Besides working together for a common project, the participants get the chance to ask questions, receive one-on-one guidance, and get inspired by positive role models.
  • CORE ACTIVITIES – besides the mentioned activities, Connect Institute invites EMY participants to take part in different activities and events that aim at inspiring them to further develop their potential:
    • AGORA – large public event organized by Connect Institute twice a year, where leading figures in different domains are invited to speak about their experiences, their successes and lessons learned. During the event, Connect Institute participants showcase different pieces of music and theatre plays they have prepared.
    • FEED – monthly session welcoming artists and professionals from Morocco and abroad. The guests are invited to speak about a subject based on their experiences, skills and life lessons.
    • TARAB – monthly competition for young and talented musicians from the Agadir region.
    • HIKAYAT – monthly storytelling competition that invites candidates to tell a story in 5 minutes or less in the language of their choice.
    • SOULIMA – monthly competition for young and talented directors of Agadir.
Achievements:

The ECOSYSTEM (a core activity within the institute) gathers participants who are passionate about drama, coding, writing, singing, playing instruments, handcrafts, and video making. The ECOSYSTEM sections encourage the participants to pursue, develop, exchange their knowledge, and BUILD projects together.

Following are some of the outcomes of the ECOSYSTEM projects:

ciPLAY: The section that gathers participants who are passionate about theatre performance and screenplay writing. The participants write, direct, and perform their plays during a Connect Institute event. They also translate and adapt international texts to the Moroccan society and perform them in front of the audience. So far ciPLAY has created four plays:

  • The show of AGORA 4: an original play.
  • PLAYCEPTION: inspired by Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Hmoum Nsa f Napoli: inspired by the four New York Times bestsellers of Elena Ferrante. The text was translated to Darija and adapted to the Moroccan Society.
  • Sbah Qhwi: a translation of Matin Brun by Franck Pavloff.

ciBAND: A group of talented young musicians with different musical backgrounds (Jazz, Flamenco, Melhoun, Reggae, etc). They are combining their styles by creating original songs that they play in Connect Institute events.

ciMAG: Participants that are passionate about graphic arts, publishing, and writing, gather to create and release a monthly e-magazine. So far, 15 editions have been published and on the 16th of each month, a new ciMAG is released.

ciWEB: The group of Connect Institute’s tech enthusiasts who create IT solutions that help manage the Connect Institute’s online programs.

  • ciCHECK: An application that facilitates the tracking of attendance in Connect Institute.
  • ciBADGES: A web platform that digitalizes the learning process and issue online badges (indicator that validates our participants’ skills, knowledge, accomplishments and competencies).
  • ciVOTE: An application that helps count the audience’s votes during HIKAYAT and TARAB, the storytelling and the music competitions organized by Connect Institute.

ciCREA: The section in which the participants create decorations, sculptures and paintings for Connect Institute’s venue.

ciPHOTO: The participants passionate about photography gather to learn new photography techniques and to develop their artistic skills. ciPHOTO created the “Urbain Agadir” photo exhibition.

ciLINKS: The bridge that connects our institute with foreign countries by building partnerships with universities sending the participants on exchange program or receiving students from abroad.

  • Financed by

  • The Facilitators:

    John Painter

    John Painter

    English teacher that facilitates conversation workshops in Connect Institute and elsewhere.
    Rosalia Stamatakos

    Rosalia Stamatakos

    Experienced drama teacher that facilitates both ACTING and CREATIVE WRITING sessions in Connect Institute.
    Taha Balafrej

    Taha Balafrej

    Founder and Executive Director of Connect Institute. He was also Director in the Ministry of Environment, and later in OCP.
    Mehdi Reghai

    Mehdi Reghai

    Co-founder of Synergy Media, Moroccan Web Awards, and the Nexties.
  • The Participants

    My favorite activity in Connect Institute is [p+100+20]. This exercise is unique because it combines reading, writing and debating. Thanks to this exercise, I can now express myself with more freedom and clarity. Rachida Akdaich
    For me Connect Institute is the space where I can share my passion for programing. Thanks to the encouragements of the staff, I organized an “Hour of Coding” event in which I learnt how to pass knowledge to others. Rachid Akdim
    During my time in Connect Institute, my personality improved a lot, and same goes for my guitar skills. I had the chance to perform in front of the US ambassador which made me so happy and proud. Jihane Nini
  • The Guests

    Connect Institute honored me with an invitation to speak to its students, who are young potential leaders in their late teens and 20s, and what a treat that was! CI seeks to unlock the potential in young people by developing their critical thinking skills and unlocking their creative processes, something sadly lacking from most traditional educational entities in Morocco. Monique Quesada, General Consul of the US in Marseille
    How stimulating it was to interact with a group of dynamic, curious and enthusiastic young people! I was inspired. It touched my heart. I am impressed by your vocation at the Connect Institute. Gathering young people who might otherwise be aimless, you give them tools for life and the hope to use them. Michael Zammit Cutajar, Former Executive Secretary of UN Climate Convention

Connect Institute . Quartier Illigh 2 C33 Agadir - Maroc . www.connectinstitute.ma . Tel: +212 (0) 5 28 82 63 33
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All United States based donations are tax deductible. Connect Institute is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization located in Agadir, Morocco.
Tous les dons basés aux États-Unis sont déductibles d’impôt. Connect Institute est une organisation à but non lucratif 501(c)(3) située à Agadir, Maroc.
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