2011: Experiencing Social Media

Prepared by Widad EL HANAFI, E-Mediat Morocco Country Director
E-Mediat Morocco was launched in 2011 and as the countdown to 2012 has started, I would like to share and reflect on lessons learnt during this journey.
We started the implementation of the E-Mediat Morocco program during the summer. Our 1st workshop on “Social Media Overview and Strategic planning” was in june 2011 and it was really hot this year.
In Meknes it was so hot that our Hotel garden went on fire. It was nice to see Hotel staff and guests working together as a team to extinguish the fire before the arrival of firemen unit. Luckily no one got hurt and we were able to deliver our training despite the heat.
We delivered our 3day workshop and met with more than 50 NGOs eager to learn  Social Media tools to enhance their work and promote their NGOs. Despite their eagernes, the NGOs were skeptical about the impact of Social Media tools. My team and I shared with them examples of Networked NGOs from the U.S. and Arab world and explained to them that they need to consider Social Media as tools and not as their ultimate objective.
During the 2nd workshop on “Social Media & Networked NGOs: listening and web presence” that took place in July 2011, E-Mediat Morocco team experienced an unfortunate incident when we ended up having a 19 hour road trip instead of 1 hour flight because of a misinformation by an employee at the airport. We didn’t want to go on arguing with the airport employees and we choosed to take the road to deliver the workshops as planned for. We arrived a bit late but the NGOs were waiting for us. NGOs interactivity during the workshops made us forget the nightmare we just experienced.
Video prepared by Al Wissal Association, a participating NGO from l’Oriental

Thanks to the support of Microsoft, E-Mediat Morocco was able to deliver 3 workshops on Microsoft Moviemaker, Live Essentials Tools, and Windows Expression Web. It was really great to observe the way NGOs has merged Microsoft tools to their Social Media strategies. Find out more about on E-Mediat Morocco blogpost on Microsoft Live Essentials tools to reinforce NGO’s Social Media Strategies. Synergy between different tools and programs is key element to sustainble development.
On December 22nd, 2011, E-Mediat Morocco and 6 participating NGOs were invited to participate in Maa Chabab, a live National radio program focusing on youth, to discuss the Role of Social Media in Empowering NGOs. NGOs shared their experience with and achievements through Social Media tools. I was so amazed to observe that within 7 months these NGOs have equiped themselves with Social Media tools not only to empower and promote their NGOs but also to sustain and participate in the process of development within their communities. Find out more about E-Mediat Morocco participation in Maa Chabab Radio program.
Here are a few examples of E-Mediat Morocco NGOs that keep inspiring me through their use of Social Media tools for their NGOs and communities:
  • The AMADEP association in Ein leuh in the region of Azrou is using tools of social media in order to contribute to local management of their village. Thus, the association has created a group on facebook for this purpose. The group gathers several NGOs from the village who have decided to create a regional consortium. Their experience has become very popular and is now duplicated in other villages in the region of Azrou. Actually, the group aims at duplicating this experience at the national level. The AMADEP has additionally created a blog for the association http://amadep.blogspot.com in order to promote their activities and another blog http://ifranepress.blogspot.com/, which is an electronic newspaper of the Ifrane province.
Local Management through Social Media Tools is a video about a Moroccan NGO in Ein Leuh, a small rural village in the Middle Atlas of Morocco, using social media tools to contribute into local affairs management and the development of their region.
  • Association of Youth without Borders (AJSF) along with other actors and NGOs has launched a campaign under the slogan: Participation is a National Duty. This campaign has focused on the importance of participation and the effectiveness of proper choice in the legislative elections of November 25 2011 and has been a campaign under the slogan Althcisah {Post} is a national duty.
Campaign on the importance of voting prepared by AJSF & other local NGOS
  • Arkhabil Association of Culture and Cevelopment is situated 5 kilometeres away from the city of Azrou in the village of Ait Ouall located in the Tigrigra constituency. The association is aiming at contributing to the promotion and the development of the region through the implementation of several projects focusing on culture, education, environment, health and rural tourism. In this respect, Arkhabil has created a blog http://assarkhabilarkhabil.blogspot.com/ and a Facebook page to promote their activities and reinforce their outreach strategy with its network on the local, national and international levels and also to raise funds to support theit community.
  • The Moroccan-American association for Communication and Cultural cooperation MAACCC is an association of graduates and students of the faculty of letters in Meknes. It manages its network and expands it through its Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Moroccan-American-Association-For-Communication-and-Cultural-Cooperation/177649078948487
  • The theatre association for culture and development in the region of Ifrane has launched a campaign on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/kytab in order to collect 5000 books on human development for secondary schools students in the region of Azrou.
  • Namaa association for development, training and communication in Wisslane in the city of Meknes advocates and manages its local area as well as its activities through its page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/جمعية-نماء-للتنمية-والتكوين-والتواصل-ويسلان/196353690394897
It was a great experience to work with these NGOs and help them design their Social Media strategies and I look forward to 2012 with more synergy between NGOs and different actors for better networked and sustainable NGOs.

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