The question begs to be asked: Why Morocco?
Sixteen problem-youth from the Slotervaart neighborhood of Amsterdam, including one who had been remanded for burglary, are being sent on a week to Morocco for 60,000 Euro so that they "will examine their lives with new eyes."
The burglar was taken out of his cell by the Amsterdam court so that he can take part in the trip. Slotervaart paid 10,000 Euro and the foreign ministry put up 50,000 Euro, thinking to create a basis for further cooperation.
The kids are not on vacation, says Joke Padmos, of the municipality. They played football with underprivileged youth, visited an orphanage and a home for handicapped children where sport and play activities were organized.
The neighborhood would talk to the youth to see if the trip had any effect on them. The youth will also see a self-made film in which they recorded their experiences in Morocco.
Ahmed Marchouch, head of the neighborhood, doesn't think it is weird that the kid was taken out of jail for the expensive trip: I hope that is was influenced, that he now would serve his sentence, and make something of his life."
Parliament member Raymond de Roon of the PVV says it is "absurd" that the burglar was "rewarded" with a trip to Morocco and wants explanation from the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs. He wants both ministers to promise such a thing will never happen again.
Source: Elsevier (Dutch)