Original Volunteers

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8.1 / 10 after 88 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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I've been to Morocco twice now, both times with original volunteers and I want to encourage people who are thinking about volunteering abroad, who want to make a difference, go on excursions and make new friends then Morocco is for you!

The first time I went to Morocco I was completely alone, however original volunteers make it easy and simple for you to find travel buddies and get into contact with people who are there the same time as you. This really helped me out as I managed to meet two people at the airport through facebook first, who became really good friends whilst I was there.

You are met at the airport in Marrakech and from then on are never alone, always with other volunteers in groups or the coordinators who are all very friendly and helpful!

Rachid who runs the projects is always there for advice and help, and is incredibly friendly and welcoming, he really is such an asset to the project!

The projects are very varied, all focused on children but you can work in orphanages, teach, go to autism and down's syndrome homes, work with babies and feed the homeless, there is never a dull moment and its great for first time volunteers as you get to experience so many different things.

The accommodation you stay in is lovely and always very well kept and such a pleasure to stay in.

There is an average of two days off a week and the coordinators organise exciting excursions for you to go on for a very reasonable price, such as a trip to the waterfalls, and overnight trips to the Sahara desert camel trekking and to a traditional Berber house to learn the ways of Moroccan life and be taught some home cooking.

If you're looking for excitement, fun, a varied experience with lots to do and somewhere where you really think you can make a difference, then Morocco with original volunteers is for you!! I would recommend it to anybody in a heart beat and can honestly say both times I have been there have been really incredible. Good luck and have fun to all prospective volunteers!

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Location:
Posted: July 19, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10
Age:
20

I went volunteering in Morocco for just under a month in June 2013, and I can honestly say it was a life changing experience.

It is a good introduction to volunteering with a balance between days working and days off to explore Morocco. Trips are offerred and promoted for time off, and I can recommend the 2 night Sahara trip - the stars I saw on my night in the Sahara were incredible - I complained to a guide that I thought it was getting cloudy when he pointed out to me that what I could see was not cloud, but the Milky Way!

Every volunteer project is run in an organised manner with a local coordinator meeting you at a specified time and place to take you to the projects. Every coordinator is so enthusiastic about what they do and the people they work with. I found the passion and drive that particularly Rachid, Adel and Yousef have was inspirational.

Although I came away from each project declaring that it was my new favourite, three projects in particular really got to me and touched me in different ways: Working on the Sesame project with the street kids was the one that really pulled at my heart strings. These kids were so positive, and although the responsibilities they have and hardships they face must not be forgotten, they are still children who want to play, be cheeky and mess around, and the Sesame project gives them the time and space to be children.

Tahannout Village was another project that I loved so much that I cried when I left for the last time. Some of these children speak quite good English, making it easier to form a connection, however language is no barrier at all when it comes to playing and interacting with children - a simple smile goes a long way. Getting involved here was a real joy, and if you do go, you may be lucky enough to be treat to the children singing some Moroccan songs which are beautiful.

Tameslot Orphanage is the third project I felt a real privilege to be working on. I have never been a particularly athletic type, so when a boy asked me to play football outdoors I was worried I wouldn't be good enough. Well, it was like no game of football I have ever seen and it was so much fun that it quickly became one of my favourite projects. I shall always remember one boy introducing me to his brother who was also in the orphanage, and playing a very entertaining game of kiss chase! I have never been so hot running around in the heat, but I was having too much fun to sit down in the shade!

Now I am thinking about it, every project I did is my favourite again, but those were the three that really touched me. The day I came home, my heart was aching as I did not want to go - I wanted to carry on with the work that does make such a difference. I learnt so much from the coordinators and the children, it has put things into perspective for me and proved to me what is important in life.

My only advice would be to approach everything with a positive, can do attitude; use your free time to explore Marrakech - it is a beautiful city full of culture; be willing to try new things - I tried eating sheep head at a food stall in the Jemma El Fna and it was actually quite nice!; get to know as many of the other volunteers and coordinators as you can - everyone is there because they care and everyone has an interesting story; and finally, difference in language is not a barrier.

If you are reading this review thinking about volunteering in Morocco, just do it! I had such an amazing time I am booking to return in a few weeks so i can see the children again.

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Posted: July 11, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: Gembrini
Age:
30

In June 2012 I volunteered in Mexico with Original Volunteers for 3 weeks. I chose OV because the value for money was miles better than other companies offering the same type of thing. Before the trip I was given tons of information on Merida (the town in which I would be staying in), and plenty of other important information which made me feel well prepared. I also used the OV Buddy List in order to contact other volunteers which would be there at the same time as me. This is a great opportunity to meet the people who you will be staying with and to find a flight partner which makes the 12 hour plane journey more enjoyable!

During my time in Mexico I was impressed by the support from the coordinators out there, They were always on hand to discuss any issues and offer any guidance. They made booking taxi's a lot easier than if we were to try ourselves.
I really enjoyed the experience of volunteering with the kids out there, it's something I would recommend to anyone. There was a variety of different volunteering projects, as they send people where they are needed. I enjoyed this variety and I did everything from looking after babies, to teaching kids English in an after school club and even giving dogs a bath!

If you are thinking about volunteering with OV then I highly recommend it and I guarantee that you will have an amazing time and meet tons of awesome people. I have just booked onto the Morocco project for August 2013 :)

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Posted: July 10, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: sjhayes93
Age:
19

When I first found ov I was overwhelmed with the number of different places I could travel to. After picking about 4 different places I finally decided on Morocco and it was the best choice I've made. Arriving in Marrakech on my own was rather scary as I had no idea what I was letting myself in to! When I found the taxi driver I was a bit more relaxed, and by the time I arrived at the riad I felt 100% better. I got a huge warm welcome by everyone there.
The projects were all so amazing and eye opening. My personal favourite was probably Tamshlot orphanage where we got to play outside with all the kids.
Whilst being there I also got the chance to visit the Berber house, waterfalls and ride a camel at the Sahara desert. These were all amazing and beautiful places to visit but the Berber house was probably my favourite as you are very much welcomed in and you also get to learn how to make mint tea, Tagine and bread. You also have a mint tea competition (remember and use all the sugar!!!)
Rachid, Adel and Fatine are amazing coordinators who definitely made you feel right at home. And I can't forget Amina the cleaner who is the best woman I have ever met despite the language barrier!!!
Whilst being there for three weeks in February 2013 I met some amazing people who I still speak to this day. Sophie and I who met then decided to travel back together in may again for 10 days also meeting Alice and Justin there who we met previously.
This is a fabulous place where you can see beautiful places and meet amazing people whilst volunteering with some of the nicest, happiest kids I have ever met.
If any one has any questions about this project I will be happy to answer!

Program:
Location:
Posted: July 10, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
7
Age:
18

Comments

Hi! I'm wondering if you could give me some more information about volunteering in Morocco. I am thinking about going in April 2015. Did you have to save up for the trip or was it reasonably cheap? How did you find the buddy system, was it easy to be paired up with someone and get to know them before you flew out? Did you feel that 3 weeks was long enough or would you have stayed for longer? How did you find the atmosphere in the house with everyone? Hope to hear from you soon. Izzy x

I started my travels in Morocco for two weeks last December. Confident I could travel solo I went to Nepal for the whole of June, two weeks with original volunteers. Met some people who I will stay in contact with for life. I stayed with a Nepalese family. Although, primarily on the outlook, you think you will struggle with your western ways vs Nepalese ways, if you sit back and go with it, you soon become accustomed and will love it. Staying with a family rather than in the volunteer accommodation makes you at the heart of Nepalese life and is amazing. A short walk away was a beautiful lake and walks. After my time with original volunteers I continued to visit the boys each day. For two weeks with the boys I was the only volunteer, this enabled me to spend plenty of time on park visits and walks with the boys. Before this trip I would have hated the thought of 'going it alone' but after spending my first week with a great volunteer and a loving host family, I felt at ease. I then went on to Chitwan and stayed at the girl's home for one night. A couple of the girls and one boy living there have siblings in Pokhara. It is emotional to meet them once you know their stories and how long it has been since they have seen each other but volunteers who travel to both homes share letters and photos. If staying longer I would recommend you request to work at both homes as they are far apart in distance and experience. If you are doubtful about going so far from home because it will be out of your comfort zone, fear not.

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Location:
Posted: July 9, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: izzkins
Age:
24

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