Lizzy Wilson Morocco

The most amazing thing?

I had never volunteered until a few weeks ago when I went to Morocco.I decided to play it safe and go for two weeks. I soon learned that children LOVE face paints, balloons, bubbles and yoyos and as long as I went to the projects equipped with these things I could guarantee big smiles. As stated in the welcome letter volunteering is what you make it, the more you put in the more you get out of it. Language is not a big barrier when working with children smiles, hugs and body language work almost every time. Within the timetable for projects there were two projects that helped more deprived people than the others, the first was working with the street children and the second was feeding the homeless. Myself and the other volunteers felt that these two needed more attention than working with them once a week or once every two weeks so we spent evenings with the street children and then I was part of the beginning of formulating us feeding the homeless almost everyday. During the month of December it is one of the quieter times for volunteering, this meant that there were not many volunteers at any one time, therefore we all become friends and I met some lovely people. Although it sounds clichéd it is true that volunteering was an amazing experience. If you go volunteering with an open heart, an open mind and a true desire to make others lives better volunteering is for you. My only regret is that it was only for two weeks but I had to dip my feet in first. I plan to arrange another voluntary trip within the next few weeks.

Best memory?
Most evenings I went to a restaurant that opens its doors to local street children. Here the children were fed and given hot tea and water. There was one girl that was no older than five and sold tissues. She could not hear or speak so she relied heavily on body language and eye contact. I grew very close to her and was very touched when on seeing her for the third or forth time she came running over to me for a hug and kiss.

Best bits about free time?
Visit to a traditional berber house (overnight)– Here I made bread, ate a delicious tagine and then ended the night by singing and dancing under the stars. Visit to the waterfalls – Went on a little boat right up to the waterfalls, had lunch with a spectacular view of the waterfall and then fed wild monkeys.

Tell us about the people
Staff: Hannan – Our co-ordinator, very kindlady who wanted us to have the best of experiences wherever we went and was more than happy to answer questions openly and honestly Rachid – The main organiser. Always has a smile on his face. His commitment to his charity work is amazing. Adeel – Rachids best friend. Security man. Both Rachid and Adeel made sure we were all home safe at the end of each day. Amina – Cleaner – kept us all in check and made us sweet hot Moroccon tea.

Would you consider volunteering again and where?
June – South Korea.

Tips for future volunteers?
Speak to the volunteers that are there when you arrive, whether they have been there for a few days or weeks they may be able to help you decipher what projects or out of volunteering projects (such as the street kids and feeding the homeless) could benefit from your attention the most.

Further advice, stories or statements
Speak to other volunteers when you arrive. Whether they have been there for a few days or a few weeks they should be able to help you make the most of your experience..