Volunteers

Adele Mitchell Morocco

Names of staff involved in your programme: 

Amina, Rachid, Youssef, Fatimzzahra, Fatine

What members of staff do you remember the most and why?
Each one of them left a lasting impression on me through their hardwork, dedication, love and enthusiasm for the projects. On a personal note each one of them would take time to explain everyday things about their culture or simply a tourist attraction we’d be thinking about going to. Though Youssef gave excellent 1st aid, Rachid was an absolute star when I broke my wrist taking me personally to the doctors and then checking everyday to make sure I was doing as I’d been told lol. I have to mention Amina too. A very warm, cheery, hardworking lady although who’s English was limited I grew to understand and love as did everyone else. She is almost like a mother figure which I thought was great for all the young kids for whom this might be their first time away from their families

What were your impressions of the accommodation?
It was better than I expected. Although it was basic it was all I needed. However the beds could be better – they are quite uncomfortable

Why did you want to volunteer?
I wanted to give some love to individuals less fortunate than me

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
When I recall the smiles on the orphans faces when we were interacting with them , yes

What did you do for fun?
We went as a large group at night for dinner then round the souks. We had day trips to Essaouira and the waterfalls

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
I loved going to the Berber cultural village from making Tagine at lunchtime – making “noise “at night. I think my most favourite project though was the street kids. It made me want to cry at the talent, confidence and enjoyment these kids had just because a group of people gave them the time to shine

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
All of the volunteers became friends; in fact we’re still in touch through facebook. I think basically we all had a commonality to make us want to volunteer in the 1st place, whatever our life path is

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise, why was this?
Uhm ,the green restaurant with the terraced seating above, at the bottom of the square(forgotten the name) The staff were very friendly and as we were regulars gave us free olive’s, bread and sometimes cous cous. Also the price was reasonable

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers? Please explain why.
I would love to go back to Marrakech again because the whole experience was great for a first time volunteer. The projects were varied giving you a wide experience of different age groups. Also meaning less chance of a child forming a lasting attachment to a particular volunteer and the implications that could cause the child

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
I have told them to go to Marrakech where the staff makes your stay warm and comfortable, with varied projects. It’s a great first time volunteering experience. It’ such a vibrant place that never stays still. It awakens every sense in your body in a fabulous way. I must add I never once felt in danger walking about

What items would you suggest future volunteers pack?
The only thing that wasn’t on the websites list that I missed was earplugs. The calling to the Mosque is loud during the night and can waken you up if you’re not used to it

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Go on your own or pairs. I noticed that groups of 4 or more people didn’t interact to the same extent, preferring to go off and do stuff in their group. For me meeting new people and sharing the experience was a big part of volunteering