Ashley Milrine Morocco

Names of staff involved in your programme:

Rachid, Fatima, Abs

What members of staff do you remember the most and why? Abs- Arranging trips for the volunters to take part in, arranging the projects also. Fatima- Taking the volunteers to the trips, spent 5 days with Fatima in Casablanca on a camping trip, she looked after all the volunteers ken- Looked after everyone, we all called him “Uncle Ken”

What were your impressions of the accommodation?
All the volunteers loved Riad 9, said it “felt like home!” The accommodation was basic and clean enough, no problems with the toiltes etc. Two showers available for us to use. Would be helpful if there was a microwave, using the gas hob to cook was a pain.

Why did you want to volunteer?
Wanted to volunteer since school but never had the chance/time since university and starting Full-time work. I have always been interested in helping/caring for others, I get on great with people. Also, I was interested in learning about a different culture.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?
Yes and No, the Kids at the projects were always happy when the volunteers were around, I felt I made a difference at the ‘Swimming project’ because the kids loved taking part and also the ‘Feeding Programme’ because you are giving something the kids are in need of. I just didnt feel there was as much full on volunteering, but I was told it was because of Ramadan and also the school holidays.

What did you do for fun?
Visited the Souks, it’s always fun to shop. Went to the Sahara desert, done some Camel-trekking, stayed overnight, that was amazing. We visited the Waterfalls one day, that was great fun, spent a good bit of the day, lots of walking, jumped from the waterfall!

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
When we took the kids swimming to a hotel called “Beach Gardens”, they were just hyper. You pay for yourself and a child, therfore you feel you are doing something. The kids love the swimming, love you throwing them about the water, that was a great afternnon. I was knackered by the end of it.

Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
I got on well with everybody I met in the Riad and other volunteers from the different Riads. We were from all over the UK, even some people from outside the UK. Everybody was difdernet which was really interesting and we all brought different personal qualities as a group. We are keeping in touch through Facebook and planning a reunion.

What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise
We weren’t really able to socialise as such because of the culture. Nearly everynight however we found ourselves in the Souks. In our free time we would often sit up on the roof and do some sunbathing.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
I loved Morocco, but I don’t think I would go back now that I have been. I would however like to do another project with OV as I had no problems. I found I was always able to get in touch with somebody.

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?
Do it…..it changes you as well, for the better. You learn so much about yourself. I met so many amazing people and you learn great things from them. The volunteering side of things and learning new culture and about a different country is so interesting.

How much money would you suggest you take per week?
About £100-£150 per week, Morocco is quite cheap

Could you offer any tips to future volunteers?
Someone told me that it’s best to go September or onwards because the children are back at school and there is much more volunteering.