Words by Kamal & Irene Parra
Photography by CJF Morocco
When Kamal first met CJF, he wasn't part of the skateboarding community or ever engaged in working with youth. He was a committed worker and was looking for new job opportunities that would allow him to offer his family stability and well-being.
One year later, we are celebrating CJF Morocco's first anniversary. Kamal's interview reflects on a year of implementation, learnings and challenges and shows us the most human (and perhaps, important) side of our programs, our team!
Kamal started working with CJF Morocco when the program had just been initiated; learn more about him and what has happened in the last year at CJF Morocco; keep reading!
Kamal during the construction of the Fiers et Forts Skatepark in Morocco
Kamal was involved in our programmes in CJF Morocco from the very beginning. He demonstrated his ability to learn fast and connected well with our team and participants. By the end of the construction, the connection between Kamal and CJF was already a reality.
In a short time, he already knew how to get his way around a skate and showed our team how valuable he could be for the project at Center Fiers & Forts
Kamal skating in Tamraght, Morocco
Kamal became a crucial part of our programmes and quickly joined our staff team as the Skatepark Manager of CJF Morocco. One year later, we are celebrating our first anniversary of programmes in Tamesloht, Morocco!
As the Skatepark Manager, Kamal faced many challenges throughout the year. But when we asked him what he has learned in the past year, this was his answer:
Kamal was not only part of our Planting Seeds Apprentice Programme, which provides skatepark design and construction training. Through his experience as the Skatepark Manager, he has also had the opportunity to learn new skills that allow him to flourish as a programme leader and do his job successfully.
"Are there any challenges you are facing now?" we asked him.
If you are familiar with CJF, you know we care a lot about our programmes' impact and constantly monitor and (re)evaluate our work.
When talking with Kamal, we couldn't avoid asking him his thoughts on the impact of our Edu-Skate Programme at Centre Fiers et Forts.
And according to him, this has shown in other aspects of their lives and how they interact during other activities in the centre.
Kamal helping a student to drop in in Morocco
If you want to learn more about the impact and the numbers behind it, you can always check our season and activity reports for CJF Morocco, available on our website.
Kammal's story is just one example of the impact of our programmes in Morocco. To end the interview, we asked him about his favourite memory of this year with CJF.
Children from the Centre Fiers & Forts in Morocco
Our Morocco programmes had a significant direct impact on the kids living at the Centre Fiers et Forts, but also on the youth in the broader community and the staff involved in the implementation.
The Edu-Skate program allowed us to work with the 38 students living in the centre. However, we realised how important it is to create a space for them to share and connect with other kids in the community and how skating could facilitate this. This is now one of our short-term priorities, and we are hosting mixed sessions for the kids to enjoy skateboarding together.
Contest at the Fiers et Forts Skatepark, Morocco
Furthermore, the Planting Seeds Apprentice Programme continues to provide our apprentices with free high-quality training. They recently were part of the skate park maintenance project in a new opportunity to improve their construction and welding skills and raise awareness in space ownership. CJF Morocco now has its own welding machine and angle grinder, and we can't wait to see how their next project turns out!
Kamal doing some upgrade at the Fiers & Forts Skatepark, Morocco
Less than a month ago, part of our international team flew to Morocco to lead some skatepark maintenance tasks.
As a result of this little trip, one of the most beautiful, creative and exciting art and construction projects we have started at CJF was born.
Mosaic workshop at the Fiers et Forts Skatepark in Morocco
The participants of our Edu-Skate Program, with the help and construction skills of the team of apprentices and staff, designed and built a beautiful mosaic with steel ornaments incorporated that now adorns the Center's facility as a great example of collaboration and teamwork!
But also as a reminder of how skateboarding (and everything that comes with it) continues to be an excellent tool for social change.
Returning to Kamal's interview, we asked him if there was anything he would like to say to all the people and businesses supporting our work in CJF Morocco:
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