Morocco

Original Volunteers

My friend and I travelled to Morocco last August for three weeks and had one of the best experiences of our lives! We had a lot of fun fundraising for the event beforehand and when we got there we were greeted by so many friendly faces, many of which we are still in contact with now. I would definitely recommend this trip to people who have not done a lot of volunteering before and is their first trip away as you get a wide variety of volunteering options every day. For example, we went to baby orphanages, took orphans to the local swimming pool, travelled to Youth Centres, organised food bags for homeless people and a lot more. We also had the opportunity to go on a lot of trips. The highlight for me definitely being our trip to the Sahara Desert and riding a camel. The only thing I would say for this trip is that you need to be open minded and open to change as often plans change and things do not always run on time! However, if you want to experience a different culture and try out a variety of volunteering then you will really enjoy this trip!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 2, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Original Volunteers

I volunteered in Morocco last summer for a month and i can honestly say it was the best thing i could have done. This is a great choice for anyone wanting to add to the CV and to experience something different. I met amazing people, some of which I am still good friends with. The price for the trip was great and i didnt need much spending money which also helped as i was on a tight budget. Volunteering at various orphanages was seriously life changing and to top it off, there was excursions that you can also book that were amazing!!!! The waterfall trip was particularly good, the most beautiful place ive ever seen! The good think about original volunteers is that you always feel safe and if there is any problems there is always people to help you. I travelled there on my own which was my first time and it couldnt have gone any more smoothly. I was picked up at the airport and taken straight to the riad. Marrakesh in itself is an amazing city and I cannot wait to go later this year. Really recommend it to anyone of all ages, it was the best trip of my life!!!!!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 2, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

In December of 2012 I went on a 2 week trip with Original volunteers to Morocco. Going on my own was a pretty scary thing, but within a few hours of getting of the plane and arriving at the riad I soon realised there was nothing to be afraid of. Morocco is the perfect place for anyone’s first volunteering experience, the co-ordinators and OV team are so welcoming, they are always around to help and there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do for you. The projects are amazing, you soon get attached to the children, and they are so beautiful and innocent. It doesn’t take you long to realise how fortunate children back home are. I gained so much from my first experience in Morocco that in June this year I went out again, this time taking my friend too. On our return she said she is glad she experienced my little piece of heaven on earth and she could completely understand why I loved it so much. Volunteering is a great experience to meet other people; I made friends on both occasions that I will keep for a lifetime. Don’t have any doubts or worries, just go for it… You won’t regret it!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 2, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

Comments

Hi I have reserved a place on the Morocco trip for May 2015! I would like to find out some more information about it though before I book any flights and become a 100% commited to it. Do you have any tips or useful information you oculd give me?? :)

Original Volunteers

Prior to March 2013, I had never volunteered anywhere abroad or done any independent travelling before, however, during Easter this year, I went on the Morocco Original Volunteer Program and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life! I spent 10 days living in Marrakech, and there was such a great combination of excursions, the opportunity to visit all the various tourist attractions in the city but most importantly the chance to volunteer at some really amazing projects. Some of the most touching were visiting a baby orphanage, where we just had to play with the young children, and also preparing and distributing lunches to a group of homeless people – it made everyone realise just how lucky we were! The great thing about this scheme though, was that in addition to some really emotive (yet, really enjoyable!) activities, there were so many trips and fun things that we could do – there was the opportunity to visit a Berber House and some really beautiful national parks which were nearby. Finally, I met so many amazing and fun people, who made the whole thing even more enjoyable for me! I can honestly say that if anyone is considering doing this, then you definitely definitely should!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
9

Original Volunteers

I went to Morocco last year with college as a eye opener to how some people live. I loved every minute of the experience I was nervous about the trip. I didn't know what it would be like and what the kids would be like, I would definitely recommend the trip to anyone. The kids I went to see were an absolute pleasure to teach and play sports with. The whole experience turned out different to what i was thinking, it's a vibrant country with a lot of character. I got the chance to stay in a traditional Moroccan house and try traditional Moroccan food as well as drink. On our day off from teaching and playing with the kids we went to a water park which was just amazing, a perfect excursion. at the end of the days we went back to our accommodation which was well looked after and clean, the people who ran the trip were just a pleasure to talk to and have a laugh with. i would definitely recommend going if you are considering it.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I went to Morocco last August with my sister and had the most amazing time! The volunteer co-ordinators were all so friendly and the children were incredibly loveable. Not only that but all the other volunteers out there were great too! We spent lots of time playing games with children of all sort of ages at different places across the city and even got to take some of the children swimming which was a great experience. We also got plenty of time to see the city, enjoy the atmosphere of the souks, eat some traditional moroccan food and go on various trips outside of the city. I would definitly recommend it to anybody! Going in August it was incredibly hot and it was also Ramadan. It was great to see a completely different culture, especially during this time, but I would say be prepared for the heat and make sure you drink plenty! Overall it was an amazing trip, I always felt supported and I learnt a huge amount from it, I wish I could go back!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

TO ANYONE THINKING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING ABROAD BUT ABIT UNSURE!!!

I would definitely, 100% recommend going with Original Volunteers to Morocco for many reasons!

1. Its only 3hrs or so from England so if you don't enjoy it you don't have a long flight home.

2. The culture is fantastic.

3. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

4. The children at the projects are all so enthusiastic and loving.

5. You make new friends for a life time!!

6. The Day trips you go on are amazing, nothing you could experience at home!

If you're thinking of a first time trip or something different to do I would recommend going to Morocco, from the moment you arrive at the airport the experience begins, you're picked up by a taxi man holding a sign, which makes you feel like a celebrity!!
He will then take you to the Riad, which is like any basic hostel with a twist (you will understand when you get there and look up from the dining area)

You will meet your fellow volunteers and Rachid the main co-ordinator, who is a very crazy guy, I had some of the best conversations with him during my time there. Watch out for Amina, she is the house keeper, she works very hard at keeping the place clean so help her out and keep it tidy, She is a very crazy lady and loves talking to the volunteers so don't be shy.

I couldn't say a bad word about any of the staff, they are all very welcoming and always up for a chat and happy to help you with anything.

Depending on what day and time you arrive will determine the project you will go on, I arrived late so had to wait until the next day to get stuck in with projects, My first project was the boys orphanage, which is actually boys and girls, It is located just around the corner, It seemed like a maze from the Riad to the orphanage, glad I wasn't alone I wouldn't have made it out!

Each project is similar in the sense that you take puzzles, colouring things and memory games, if you want them to be different you have to find a way to make it different, no one is going to tell you what to do, the children enjoy learning new things and some of them want to learn basic English so they can communicate with you, if you make things fun and interesting they will want to listen. What you put in you get out!

One thing I didn't realise is that you need to use taxis or buses to get to some of the projects, you always go with a co-ordinator but it costs about 5dh each way which isn't expensive but it does add up, eating out isn't expensive either but it all adds up again, my first week I spent about 1000dh (£90ish) on food and travelling.

I met some amazing people, volunteers and children at the projects and the locals, everyone is so friendly, don't be afraid to ask for directions people are more than happy to help you, I had an experience in the souks, me and a friend were trying to find a scarf shop but were lost, which may sound easy because every other shop is a scarf shop but we wanted a specific one, it is so big and confusing, we asked this shop keeper if he knew where it was, he went out of his way to ask friends and draw us a map to where it was, it made me realise how unhelpful people are back home because not many people in my hometown would help people that were lost, I really appreciate peoples kindness more.

If you're walking about in the old town square watch out for all Moroccan workers, monkey and snake people and the henna tattoo ladies they do like to come up to tourists and ask for money, you just have to be firm with them and say LA (No) and then run!! Its really funny. At the end of the day you're making memories so whatever happens you have stories to tell and its all funny if you have a good group of friends with you and you have an open mind! I loved my experience and planning on going back.

The culture is so interesting, I was really fascinated by it and was amazed at how different it was to being at home. I would truly recommend going and experiencing it as it is a real eye opener, I loved every second I couldn't say anything bad about my whole trip, even the donkey that nearly ran me over, Go with an open mind and you will be pleasantly surprised I'm sure! I cant wait to go back to the beautiful city of Marrakech! It changed me, opened my eyes and made me appreciate things a lot more, I was there for 3 weeks.

Also if you have a few extra pennies and would like to experience something different I would recommend the Berber trip, basically you go and stay with a Berber family right out in the sticks, you live how they live for a day or two, walk around their village, make bread from scratch in a manmade poo fire (Sounds worse than it is, you'll see what I mean when you go!) Make Tagine or get water from the well with the donkey. You also do a Mint Tea competition and whoever makes the best one they get a mint tea pot, they are all so lovely there as well and it just adds to the experience.

Another day trip which is worth doing is the waterfalls, its a good day out with some friends, see the waterfalls and just have a chilled day, they are really beautiful. The other trip is the Sahara, I didn't go last time so cant really comment on it but some of my friends did and they loved it, a long drive to the desert then the camel ride, sleep over and do the same on the way back, they were all a bit achy the next day but they said it was worth it.

I hope this has helped anyone that is looking to go and makes you want to go rather than run for the hills!! It really is an amazing trip and worth going for the memories, the children are really inspirational because they are all so happy with their lives and they don't have a lot of things like we do, we take things for granted.

Go and keep the smiles on their faces!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I traveled to Morocco with Original Volunteers in August 2012. My initial contact with the company was via telephone and i immediately felt at ease and knew they were the company i wanted to plan my trip with. I used the original volunteers website to find out all the information i needed and i also used the online forums to find a buddy to travel with. This was great as i had never flown before and felt much better and more at ease doing it with someone else in the same position. We arrived at the airport and we were picked up along with another volunteer and taken to a Riad. All the staff involved with us whilst in Morocco were very friendly and helpful. In particular Abs and Rachid really made my trip as they were always around to chat to and ask questions. The volunteering itself was amazing and life changing meeting all the orphans and street kids. They were so appreciative and glad to have us there and were constantly smiling, this made me know i had done the right thing coming and helping their lives even if it was just for a little. I made so many new friends with the other volunteers too. Being in close contact made me feel like i had known some of them for years and even now i still talk to several of them as we shared such a great experience over there. I would definitely use Original Volunteers again if i was to take another trip and i cannot fault the experience they provided.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 1, 2013
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
8

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I was fortunate to be granted sabbatical leave for the past spring semester, time off to pursue my interest in and curiosity about Islamic culture; one of my primary objectives was to travel and to live within the culture for a four week period. I determined to focus on Morocco.
I have never traveled abroad entirely on my own—leaving husband, family and friends behind. In this context, CrossCultural Solution’s concept of a Homebase lodging had great appeal for me; I also appreciated the variety of volunteer opportunities available, as well as the “in-country classes” that would help me to better understand the local people, their heritage, their language and beliefs.
The experience I had this past mid-February to march was extraordinary. I lived and taught English to adults in the suburbs of Rabat. The local CCS staff was remarkable, from the first day of orientation through support and trips and talks and tips; they gave the experience value and context, with their openness and good humor.
The group of volunteers with whom I shared quarters and experience were wonderful as well: from 18 to 75, from the US and Europe, all of us connecting daily with stories and conversation about ourselves and our adventures. We travelled together on weekends, enjoyed the variety of the Moroccan countryside from beaches to desert and mountains, which developed not only our friendships but also our understanding of the country and the culture.
But best of all was the opportunity to meet and work with local Moroccans, within the scope of my volunteer program. I taught adults of all ages, from all walks of life. I made friends with men and women whom I would never have met otherwise, and we learned from and enriched each other’s lives. I may have been “teaching English”, but all of us learned from each other. I still stay in touch with many of my students on an ongoing basis!
When I return to school in the fall, I will have so many experiences, so many stories to share with my students and faculty. This CCS encounter was exceptional—and I , without any hesitation, recommend the opportunity to others: it changes lives!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jun 26, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

During a recent, inspiring “volunteer abroad” experience with Cross Cultural Solutions, I had the privilege of teaching advanced English to adults in Rabat, Morocco. I decided to take the mission of “cultural exchange” literally, by ending my class 10 minutes early on most days so that my students, who were starved for first-hand contact with Americans, could ask me questions. “Is justice real in America?” and “Can you criticize your government?” and “Did you have a bad impression of Islam before you arrived here?” were among the questions that I fielded proudly, offering my own opinions peppered with a strong dose of cultural and political sensitivity. I realized on my first day in the classroom that I was representing way more than just me.

As a communications and marketing executive, I had never taught anyone before this volunteer “placement,” with one exception -- drilling table manners (somewhat successfully) into the minds of my two kids. So, I knew this experience was pushing boundaries for me. Big boundaries. Morocco was, for me, a fascinating conundrum. A country of great contrasts and contradictions. A nation of awesome Roman ruins and omnipresent satellite dishes. A nation with great beauty set against stinging poverty and a painfully low literacy rate. A country where the wealthy live behind locked gates, where students strive hard for limited jobs, and where everyone you meet is welcoming and proud of the amazing geography, well-spiced cuisine and moderate Muslim mindset that sets Morocco apart from other African and Middle Eastern nations.

My CCS experience turned out to be EXACTLY what I was looking for – shoving me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to “give back” while getting more, stretching my brain with lectures on Arabic and Islam, using my conversational French, and meeting like-minded volunteers at “Home Base.” And that’s not to mention the attentive pre-trip assistance and the incredibly personal care and brilliant guidance provided by the CCS Morocco staff.

Now that I’m home, my memories mingle with a deep sense of gratitude. For having the chance to teach the difference between the vowel in “kit” versus the one in “kite,” for learning to appreciate the 5am morning call to prayer (before falling back asleep), and for recognizing the incredible advantages of being born into such a wealthy (albeit spoiled) society. My brief stay in a world of “upper and lower” helped me reaffirm the significance of our middle class – and the openness of a society that appreciates neighborhood barbeques and over-the-fence invites. I loved learning about a world that’s different from my own – and understanding more about women who willingly wear the veil. I gained new perspectives on modesty, true hospitality and serious study by 20somethings who don’t drink, smoke or curse.

Would I recommend volunteering in Morocco with CCS? Absolutely. But only if your mind is open and you are ready to represent way more than just yourself.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: May 19, 2013
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi T1bor, Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience in Morocco; it was great to hear that you were able to have the support of CCS staff and still be able to push yourself outside your comfort zone, all while learning about the true Moroccan culture. Your review was truly insightful. We hope to have you on another program soon! -Cross-Cultural Solutions

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