Last month, Project Soar launched the much anticipated Project Soar in a Box (PSB), the 50 empowerment lesson expansion. A Training of Trainers for 23 facilitators representing 12 locations across Morocco was put on at the PS Headquarters outside of Marrakech. It provided the first cohort of Peace Corps Volunteers and their Moroccan counterparts with the tools and resources to carry out the empowerment curriculum to girls in their communities.
The preparation for the roll out began since the first day of my new role as the Field Manager of the organization and since then it has been a time of growth for the organization and for me personally.
I was in the unique position to combine my Peace Corps connection with a budding organization whose mission of empowering girls and supporting them to carry out more productive and fulfilling futures aligned with Peace Corps Morocco youth development sector goals.
Launching the expansion took lots of long hours and late nights. Despite the sometimes slow pace of everyday Moroccan life, deadlines quickly approached and the time and energy of lots of people both in Morocco and abroad allowed for it to happen when it did.
The amount of work put into the growth of a non profit organization like Project Soar does not return the type of significant financial benefits it would in other day jobs. However, the return that does come is significantly satisfying. Capacity building Moroccan female leaders in further understanding their potential to inspire and empower girls in their communities makes it worth it.
Managing local staff for the duration of the preparation and roll out of the expansion, tested my leadership skills, ability to trust and capacity build. Until those final hours, “Project Soar in a Box” was a concept, something that local staff whose first job experience was with Project Soar did not fully comprehend. We all gained a deeper understanding of the many elements that go into making an organization grow. We all learned by doing and took on tasks that were not necessarily what we expected to be our role. Knowing the goal, people took responsibility completing tedious tasks such as translation review and coordinating transportation and lodging logistics.
The Training of Trainers and the official launch was an incredible experience for me as I was surrounded by Peace Corps Volunteers, who, like me three years ago, were overly eager to begin working with girls in their communities, while at the same time, I was working alongside a team who had a goal we’d been aiming for months and we achieved it.
While it was an accomplishment, it is only the beginning. I look forward to hearing and seeing how the Project Soar in a Box chapters play out with girls and facilitators as well as the next set of trainings planned for the fall to reach even more female leaders and girls across Morocco.