Morocco

Original Volunteers

I had some annual leave and I wanted to do something worthwhile with my time off. I did a quick search online and filled out a form for Original Volunteers based on the fact it seemed reasonably priced compared to other sites I'd seen, and they had projects in countries that I'd love to visit.
Within a couple of hours I had a call back from their team, they didn't try to push me into anything, they were really helpfully and it was so easy and simple to do, I just had to book my flights and advise them of the day so they can arrange a pick up. A week later I was on a flight to Marrakesh, they'd briefed me well on the phone and answered all my questions, they always called back and was there to help. I was even able to get in touch with other volunteers that I'd be working with.
We stayed in the old town called the Medina, in a Riad which was so nice, much better than I was expecting. There were very few tourists, I loved that about the trip, it was real life, no holiday resorts on the doorstep, but I never felt unsafe. Some may find it a bit of a culture shock but actually Morroco is not so bad, there's Internet, everyone seems to have Facebook and instagram and there are short taxi trips to more touristy areas.
The hosts were 2 local guys who spoke good English, they was really friendly and was there for us all week.
It was a quiet week for volunteers, there were only 5 of us, all girls. We had the best week, we chose to share rooms, we felt close friends from day one and worked so well together that we really felt we accomplished things during our project work.
The projects we visited were so enjoyable, we took lots of arts and crafts and made creative things with the kids, I know they really appreciated us being there and having someone give them attention and have fun with them, it made them smile, it alters your mindset, to share joy and gratitude from simple pleasures. It was the perfect get away and a great introduction to volunteering.
I'd definitely recommend Original Volunteers to anyone who was looking to volunteer abroad. It was hassle free for me, and I made some brilliant friends and memories,
I'd love to go again soon.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Apr 24, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I came here for a month and it was absolutely the best thing I ever did in my life, I've booked to go for another month and I leave in June! I would recommend original volunteers to anyone and everyone. The riad I stayed in was all you need and everyone I met was extremely friendly and welcoming, I was picked up and driven back to the airport all in good time also.

The co-coordinators for each project were very friendly and always helpful, there were 2 projects a day to take part in for the most part (you didn't have to attend but I went every time they were available). The food is locally available much cheaper from the markets right by the main riad along with fresh smoothies and there's a bakery a few doors down with hot fresh bread in the mornings. Getting to and from places is very cheap in taxis but you can sometimes expect others to get in your taxi half way through which is a little crazy at first. This generally doesn't happen on the way to projects with the coordinator, also check prices with your coordinator if you plan to take taxis outside of project times as sometimes they aren't too honest on the price ;)

I visited street kids regularly and even outside of project times, generally bringing them smiles and entertainment with lots of gymnastics and teaching some muay thai where I was allowed to, fantastic experience with wonderful kids. I did the same at the orphanage which was my favourite project, tons of lively lads, all very active so expect to run around a lot as they'll keep you in shape! Plenty of football played there too. Done tons of drawing and face painting, fed the homeless every week which means going to pick up from the supermarket with the cost shared between everyone in the riad who's happy to chip in and then preparing lunches and handing them out in the square.

The baby orphanage was lovely to visit but I very nearly adopted one of the babies there and it was really hard to go home after bonding with them, as it was with all the kids elsewhere. There was a girls orphanage I visited where I reluctantly let them paint my face in the name of good fun, I ended up staying painted all day and it was all a good laugh.

I went to the Sahara desert on an excursion and the Berber house, both great experiences outside of project times.

Overall everywhere we went the main thing was keeping the kids happy, they are far less fortunate than all of us and it will really bring you back down to earth! Highly recommended!

Can't wait for June :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Apr 18, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

Original Volunteers Morocco Marrakesh Review March/April 2017:

Things to note:
1) Make sure you have correct accommadation address and moroccon project advisor contact number as you will be required to fill in a disembarkment form on arrival and customs/passport control officers are very by the book.

2) The queue on arrival to passport control can be upto 2 hours at Marrakesh Airport so bear this in mind.

3) Once you are through customs, exchange some money at the bueru du change.

4) Then go to the Maroc Telecom and buy a Moroccan sim card. Cost roughly 150Dirham around £15 for 6.5gb of data 40 mins international calls and 1 hour of moroocan calls.

5) Then once actived head out of the arrivals and exit airport.

6) The driver might be there but if not you will need to contact the moroccon project advisor who will orginise taxi for you to djamma el-fna in Marrakesh from the airport.

7) The driver will drop you near the accommadation and it is a 5 min walk with the project advisor.

The above steps is what myself and a friend have learned with our trip we learned through trial and error as we were at the airport for quite some time due to passport control being very thorough. Please don't let that put you off just be prepared before you leave the UK make sure you have all the accommadation and contact details.

The trip overall was a fantastic experience and was well organised visiting the baby orphanage and feeding the homeless were the stand out activaties. Most of the travel is done via walking and taxi's. Marrakesh is very nice be prepared to haggle though when buying things from the markets. The jus'dorange stalls are good number 49 stall is the man to go to always gave us extra juice and different juices to taste.
The project advisors are great and are very friendly, they'll help you out a lot. Foodwise cafe babooshka is nice and there is a kfc near the kootbia mosque.
On our trip there were 10 other volunteers but by the end of the week that wittled down to 4 as some people come and go. The weekend was pretty much free to chill and do as you please and since it was just myself and my friend in the house now, we decided to book a couple of hotels for the weekend with aquaparks to have a bit of fun before we left morocco. I would highly recommend the morocco marrakesh trip as it balances both the volunteering and having fun really well. Don't worry about it just go ahead and book it :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Apr 18, 2017
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
4

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I am taking my gap year with Cross Cultural Solutions, three countries in theee months. So far I have spent a month in Morocco, and I love it. Everyone here is so warm and welcoming that the home base felt like home very early on. All of the staff is absolutely wonderful. The volunteer work feels like you are making a real difference which is exactly what I was looking for. I also love the lessons and discussions we have, specifically Arabic lessons, Moroccan culture, and lessons on Islam. I think it's very special to learn about them first hand from Moroccan people. I always feel very safe in the home base and everywhere we go, especially with the gaurd at the home base all day and night. My next two months will be spent in Ghana and Tanzania and I am very confident they will be just as amazing as Morocco has been. I would absolutely recommend CCS and have had the best experience in Morocco.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Morocco
Posted: Feb 27, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I travelled with Projects Abroad for two weeks in July two years ago and it was an experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in exploring and learning a new culture. Not only do you get to know the country but you also experience it from the inside, like one more national. Here I realised how different this kind of travelling is compared to when you travel and visit a country without barely having real contact with its national citizens. During this two weeks I got to live a fascinating life completely different to the one I had had up to that moment. I got to live with a muslim family and also had contact with volunteers from all over the world, from Pakistan to Canada or Switzerland. My volunteer work had to do with the social work field. I worked in a communitary center with children organising different activities and also helped in the maintenance and reforms of the center.
OveralI would rate every aspect of this trip very highly, the Projects Abroad staff made it not only an enjoyable experience but made it a life changing one. They helped build a community within our small group of volunteers and I made friends there that I will never forget.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jan 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I volunteered in Morocco for just under 2 weeks and I absolutely loved it!! I would highly recommend Original Volunteers! Its cheap, organised and the staff is friendly & amazing!

Before the volunteering, the original volunteers staff were so friendly went contacted and everything was sorted out way before travelling! I went with a group of friends and we all travelled together and shared the same accommodation (which I recommended).

I enjoyed many of the activities from visiting the orphanage home, visiting the Bani nursery, street kids centre and feeding the homeless in Ramadan . Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. At times, the OV coordinators were a little disorganised but most times it was well run and they did apologise.

The accommodation in Morocco was average, its not the best but it certainly is worth the price you pay! Sharing the house with other volunteers was really nice as you make loads of friends and get to know others well. In terms of shopping, buying food and eating out is very cheap in Morocco, so that would never be a problem. I and the group ate out every night but we had some days where we stayed in and just ate food from the supermarket.

Overall, I would highly recommend travelling to Morocco and volunteering! Its cheap and the culture/tradition is amazing there. People can hassle you in the market to buy their goods, but thats just something which makes Morocco's market unique! Most people are friendly!

You also get to go on great excursions- I visited the Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud waterfall, Zagora desert and the Southern Villages. It was a great experience and I loved it! So thank you OV! :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Aug 12, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad provided me the perfect opportunity to live and work in an entirely new environment - one in which I didn't know the language or culture.

I can't speak to the other programs, but the staff in Morocco was absolutely amazing. From day one, I felt both welcomed and appreciated. The first day I had a comprehensive tour and some basic language info, and each week at our group meetings, I developed a better relationship with the staff (who, I might add, were great friends themselves - and it showed! Everyone had so much fun together). We even met up with the staff on our own, in the evenings for dinner or at concerts in the city. It can be hard to be in a new place without friends and family (particularly with a language barrier) so to have the staff be so welcoming from day one really made Morocco feel like home.

And it wasn't just the staff that made Morocco home. My homestay was by far the best and most influential part of my experience: whether they were teaching me Moroccan Arabic phrases, guiding me through cooking dinner, bringing me along for dances and concerts, or covering my arms in beautiful henna, there was never a moment that I didn't feel right at home with my host sisters.

I truly can't recommend studying or volunteering abroad enough - it really changes your perspective on both yourself, and the world around you. Projects Abroad made my dream to go abroad a reality, and I couldn't have done it without them. Would definitely recommend if people are looking for an organization to help organize the logistics for them - it's expensive, so funding options through school or the community can make this really worthwhile!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Feb 23, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
8

Projects Abroad

Over the summer, I went on a two-week high school special trip to Rabat, Morocco, with Projects Abroad. I can say with no exaggeration that those were two of the best weeks of my life.

To start off, Projects Abroad is extremely well organized. Throughout my trip, the staff supported me from the moment I stepped off the plane to the moment I boarded my flight home. They made everything easy, including transportation, exchanging money, getting a Moroccan sim card, and finding local cafes and wifi hotspots.

My host family was incredible. My roommate and I ate most of our meals with our host family in their big sitting room. We always looked forward to eating: our mom was an incredible cook! Breakfast usually consisted of fresh bread, jam, and a nutella-like spread, with fresh fruit as well. We usually had a late afternoon tea, and our host mom would invite her friends and family to these gatherings. We would munch on pastries and of course, mint tea, a delicious Moroccan specialty. For lunch and dinner, we usually had couscous or tagine, an incredible Moroccan dish. After dinner, we’d often partake in a game of Uno with our host brother, or would walk to local parks and cafes with our host sister. There was never a dull moment at home.

The volunteer placement was extremely enjoyable, and I felt like I was really helping the children I worked with. We worked at a care center in Salé, which was a type of summer camp for underprivileged children. We spent half the day working with the children, who ranged in age from four to sixteen. We played games with them, did arts and crafts, held sports tournaments, and even taught them some English. The children were energetic, positive, and eager to learn: overall a joy to work with. The other half of the day we spent working on small projects around the facility. We cleaned up the center’s gardens, built some concrete benches, and painted a mural. After we left, the center looked better than ever.

I made some lifelong friends on the trip: the other volunteers were amazing, interesting people who came from all over the world. Together (and with the help of the Projects Abroad staff), we explored the medina, went shopping, drank tons and tons of tea, took night walks on the beach, and even went to a Moroccan music festival. I would recommend a Projects Abroad trip to anyone who wants to experience a new culture, improve his or her language skills, and really make a difference in the world. I’ll never forget my time in Morocco.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jan 2, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

I did the intensive language Arabic classes in Morocco with Projects Abroad for two months. The organization arranged a good host family for me that made sure that I had three full meals a day, did my laundry, and answered all of my questions. There were also at least three staff members that I could turn to at any time if I had any problems or felt ill. If for any reason, one of them was unavailable they would let you know promptly and the length of time that they would be unreachable. Five days a week for three hours a day I had one on one Arabic classes in the private residence of my teacher. She was very inviting and always willing to provide me with extra assistance when needed. Overall I had a wonderful a wonderful experience and I would love to use the organization again to travel to another country.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Nov 17, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I volunteered with Projects Abroad in Morocco for spring break as a college student. It was an incredible trip, and i regard it as one of the most important in my life. All the volunteers on our trip got along really well. Our program coordinators were absolutely amazing and I am so thankful for that. Going abroad to Morocco was something that my parents were worried about because of safety, but I did not feel unsafe there. Staying with a host family was a really memorable experience because I got to practice a language I am learning. I would completely recommend Projects Abroad because they are organized and effective in addition to engaging and adventurous. The price was a factor, but I think that you are paying for a lot of the things that ensure your organized, easy and safe trip. Well worth it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 12, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

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