Volunteers on the Childcare project work with orphans and children from disadvantaged neighborhoods and in the mountains through organizing and engaging in activities to entertain the children and help develop their cognitive skills. Volunteers have the opportunity to design daily activities for the children, incorporating teaching basic English, physical development activities (music and dance, theatre, toys and games), and arts and craft (painting and drawing). The aim of this project is for volunteers to provide underprivileged children in Morocco with new, enriching and exciting activities. There is also the opportunity for volunteers on this project to work with special needs children with different disabilities ; Down syndrome, Autism, physical disabilities and deaf and mute
The Babies’ Orphanage is a centre for about 30 babies and infants, ranging in age from new born to 2 years. The children generally are either brought having been found by the police, or from women in the hospital unable to take care of their babies.
The volunteers will go into a playroom, where they can play with the children who are awake. The Nurses who care for the babies will bring the children through when they have woken up and been changed etc, and each volunteer can play and take care of them.
Volunteers do not need to bring any activities to the centre, but can bring things like bubbles, balloons or activities that encourage sensory stimulation etc. However, please bear in mind that volunteers must NOT feed the babies unless asked to do so (the nurses will bring you the food they want each baby to have), nor should they change the babies without first asking. Equally, to prevent misunderstandings, do not go into the rooms with the cots without asking; the nurses however are usually only too happy to accompany volunteers there if they would like to see them, and the director is always happy to answer any questions you might have.
Volunteers can also bring things to the orphanage like nappies and milk …etc. they have a list of necessities at the orphanage
Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food and drinking liquids. In Morocco, the most prevalent religion is Islam and around 98% of the population are practising Muslims. The Ramadan project provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to experience Ramadan in a Muslim culture, however they are required to observe Ramadan customs while in Morocco.usually volunteers have to be at the youth centre between half 6 and 7 to help preparation of tables and serve the food, afterwards they help cleaning up and washing up.The Ramadan project is only available during the 4 weeks of Ramadan
PAINTING MURAL PROJECT
Once or twice a week , Volunteers are assigned to help with painting and gardening in schools, Orphanages, youth clubs ,.etc. they all go as a group and prepare paints brushes to take and some pictures to draw on the wall. Normally volunteers paint things like Animals, landscapes, cartoons, and educational pictures .etc
Volunteers have to follow the coordinators instruction in terms of how the painting would be ,which colour to choose …etc .volunteers are asked to take a lot of water with them and wear old clothes for painting.
HOMELESS FEEDING PROGRAM
Once or twice a week each group of volunteers prepare food to take to the homeless . The feeding programme consists of all volunteers putting money together (20 dirhams, a total of two English pounds) to buy ingredients for sandwiches, drinks. Volunteers work together putting it into bags, taking it together to the homeless people a short walk away from the riad. This always leaves you feeling like you want to help more and that is some ways we wish we could offer more opportunities and support.
These projects occur either once or twice a month and volunteers are expected to join in a unique community service. For example, labour work with regards to repairing furniture/ doors/ walls/ wardrobes etc. These projects require patience, pre-preparation and hard work, so it is best to keep an open mind. Volunteers are invited to contribute money that will help people that are in need of clothes, food, building, repairing and painting. Make sure that you discuss this with your co-ordinator so that arrangements can be made through the head office.
If Volunteers are going to any of the other villages, the placements will be either for amorning, an afternoon, or all day, in which case they are usually given lunch by the organisers in the village. The projects will be working with a group of children in each village. Volunteers can bring a mixture of sports and arts and crafts materials, but try to activities for as many children as possible.
There is also a possibility in these villages to take part in painting projects, decorating schools and areas where the children in the village spends lots of time.
Although the Moroccan Government is working hard to improve literacy and promote professional development through the National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD), a large percentage of Moroccan children and teenagers are not given the chance to acquire marketable skills. These young Moroccans are aware that speaking a second language will enable them to further their education
and integrate well into the job market. Volunteers work with underprivileged children, providing English lessons for 2 different groups; beginners who would like to know more about basic English, and advanced who are keen to learn English Grammar and communicate better English. Volunteer tasks include running small workshops, assisting local teachers and organizing educational games and activities. Volunteers can also assist in summer camps.
Sport and physical activity has got now a strong link to the Moroccan culture, as locals have begun to recognize the value it has in personal and physical development. Volunteers on the Sports Development project contribute to the growth of sport in Morocco through education and coaching of sports, such as Football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball, and athletics. Volunteers are also encouraged to introduce new sports and games to the centers in which they are placed. If you have a preference to teach a particular sport please note this on your application when you apply
As a part of our charity work, we have a contact list of single mothers with their children that need help ( financial aid)
These families are registered within our charity and have regular assistance from us and that is cannot be done without volunteers donation.
Donation can be colothes, food , money …getting food for homeless. Buying paint and other items to help renovation of schools and orphanages.and can also help us organise trips and picnics for the children to the mountains, or swimmingpool
Also. The charity help chidren in terms of medication and health problem as well as assist them to do operations of all kinds depends on their conditions and if we can afford to do.
Arrival and orientation
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation. You will have anOrientation which is hosted by one of the coordinators at the volunteer house. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Morocco – Introduction to Morocco, Moroccan Customs, Rules and Expectations, Language Lessons, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Morocco, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
If you are traveling in Morocco prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from the train Station in Marrakech on the day before your program orientation.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a nice Moroccan Riad located in in the heart of Medina Marrakech . It is exciting, as this is an opportunity to learn the Moroccan way of life, meet local people, eat local food, speak the local language (Darija: the Moroccan Arabic dialect) and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is basic, yet still comfortable, and it has electricity and running water. Volunteers can expect to share a room with other volunteers. Bedding is provided, but it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag along with a towel and toiletries.
WiFi is available in all Riads in Marrakech. To keep connected, you can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Essential country information
Population 32.52 million
Languages Arabic and Berber
Currency Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
Time zone UTC±00:00
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day would be as follows
8.00 AM Breakfast at the homestay.
9.00 PM – 10.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is a tea break and lunch break with times varying depending on the placement.
2.00 PM – 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
8.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the particular project the volunteer in participating on. Volunteers taking Arabic or French language lessons spend half the day volunteering and the other half of the day taking language lessons.
Influenced by African, Arab, Moorish and Berber cuisines, Moroccan cooking blends Mediterranean fruits and vegetables with spices, typically imported. A typical Moroccan meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine (Moroccan stew) and bread is eaten with every meal. Lamb or chicken dishes are common, as is couscous topped with meat and vegetables. The consumption of pork and alcohol are prohibited, as per Muslim dietary restrictions and drinking mint tea is a daily tradition. Volunteers in Morocco are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Bottled water is readily available in Morocco and volunteers should budget approximately 5 pounds per week for this (2 liters per day.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to Open hands local team on arrival in Morocco
Weather and climate: Morocco has a Mediterranean climate that is generally hot and dry for most of the year, with cooler, yet still mild, temperatures and rainfall during the winter months between November and March. Morocco has widely varying terrain and the climate varies greatly throughout the country. Temperatures can be incredibly high in the southern and south eastern desert areas whereas, the temperature drops considerably in the higher lying mountainous areas, even dropping to freezing point at night. In Rabat, temperatures reach an average high of 27°C (80.6°F) in the summer months and an average high of 17°C (62.6°F) in the winter months. Temperatures can drop to an average of 7°C (44.6°F) in the winter and it is generally always cold in the evenings throughout the year.