Our guests from Morocco joined us to learn more about our homeless and runaway youth service initiatives, technology and operating budget.

Recently, NRS welcomed into our offices’, participants in an exchange program between Chicago and its sister city, Casablanca, Morocco. Our visitors from Morocco were acting as social service delegates from their city and were visiting the Chicagoland area to attend a symposium at Dominican University.

This event, titled, “Engaging Disengaged Youth: An Ongoing Dialogue between Chicago and Casablanca,” was meant to “examine current efforts to reach disengaged youth” in both cities.

After meeting with other social service professionals and educators from Chicago, our Moroccan guests joined us to learn more about our homeless and runaway youth service initiatives, technology and operating a budget.

Our Executive Director Maureen Blaha welcomed our guests, some of whom were studying social service studies at university, and others who were working with street youth of Casablanca. NRS staff introduced us and what our responsibilities are within the agency.

Our guests had many great questions and we learned a lot about their challenges delivering services to Moroccan youth. One of the more experienced social workers who had been working with youth for several years expressed the lack of support from citizens in his country. He spoke of the lack of quality support facilities in his country and the lack of a resource such as ours. Morocco does not have a national hotline devoted to runaway or homeless youth and their needs.

We explained how our service works, and that our technology has evolved to respond to how youth are more likely to communicate. We discussed how youth are accessing services through live chat and email channels and we are able to deliver the same level of care. Through our government funding, private donors and sponsors, we have been able to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our afternoon concluded with a tour of our offices as well as a group photo!

An NRS volunteer hosted our guests for a dinner that night before they left to return home. We were honored to have our sister city inhabitants into our home, and we look forward to learning more from them in the future.


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