Morocco

Cross-Cultural Solutions

I have volunteered with CCS three times, in Morocco, India (the Palampur location) and Russia. Each time I was openly welcomed, felt supported, and felt I made an impact on those around me. Furthermore, each experience most certainly impacted me and I was able to bring different perspectives back to the United States and share them with my friends, family, co-workers, and students. I would highly recommend this program and intend to continue volunteering with them as time passes.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: India, Morocco, Russia
Posted: Aug 8, 2012
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hello, I have been looking at CCS for volunteering abroad. I have been looking at the three places you have been too. Which did you enjoy the best and what did you do at each site? Thanks for your time, Jackie

Original Volunteers

I do not recommend Original Volunteers, I travelled to Morocco in July with them and had many problems, they are very unorganised. In March 2012 they informed me that there was only 2 places left for July, as eager as I was, I quickly paid my registration fee. Later I found many other volunteers travelling at the same time as me who has booked later than me and they also had been told this lie about limited places. Once I arrived at Morocco there were too many volunteers and not enough spaces so I was placed in a temporary rented house with a few others. Not much information was provided by the co-ordinators. As for the volunteering, I felt useless and not making much of a difference. I ended up returning home earlier than planned. If this is your first time volunteering do not travel with original volunteers.

Program:
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jul 29, 2012
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Original Volunteers

I have just returned from doing volunteer work in Marrakech with original volunteers. I wanted to write a review to prepare people before they go. I was not given much information about what the work entails and i feel if i was better informed as to what was involved I would have got more out of the experience.
The children spoke very little english other than simple phrases which I wasn't expecting as it said on the OV web site that the children do speak english. Their primary language is Arabic and secondary is french so I recommend brushing up on your french before you go! Otherwise it becomes quite frustrating for both the children and yourself trying to comunicate!
The work was varied, we did 2 projects a day. The first was at around 9am-12pm then after a couple hours rest in the afternoon we'd go to the next project which was around 3pm- 5pm. Our coordinator would meet us and take us to the projects. On the information pack it mentioned a typical session would be in an outdoor space but during my stay there was only 1 outdoor activity which was in tameslouht, a small village just outside Marrakech. The boys love to play football, some of the volunteers managed to get some footballs at the supermarket which is just 10 minutes away from the riad. The other children were happy to play with a bat and ball, balloons, skipping rope, they also enjoyed playing stuck in the mud or tag. The other projects were all inside, we worked at orphanages, schools and nurseries. The childrens ages ranged from around 6-14. I recommend taking plenty of art and craft! the children loved making masks, bracelets, hats, puppets and doing finger painting, playing with play dough, face paints (ask first though! some of the nurseries wouldn't allow it) nail painting (again, ask first and only use pale colours! nothing too dark) I'm sure you would be able to get plenty more ideas online. I strongly recommend preparing before you go as we found it very hard to find supplies once we were out there! There are a few bits and bobs which have been left at the riad such as colouring books, paper and pencils although colouring in gets pretty boring for the children as well as the volunteers!
Also, if you are going in winter the temperature during the day was around 20-25 degrees but the temperature dropped considerably at the night and the riad we were staying in got very cold!! take loads of warm jumpers and perhaps an extra blanket!
I had a lovely time in Marrakech, although at times I felt the work we were doing was unfulfilling. However; its an excellent opportunity for trying out volunteer work for the first time and I have met some amazing people along the way!
I hope this information helps :)

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Jan 10, 2012
Overall:
4
Support:
2
Value:
10

Comments

This is my first time to plan to go volunteer. I didn't register with them yet. Is it worth to go with original volunteer? are their support is enough? Can you give me some suggestions? Thanks :))
Hiya, I have just booked my flights to Marrakech at the end of May. I am glad to hear that it was rewading for you personally. I am slightly concerned however that they seem to be a bit unreliable. Is this the case?

Cross-Cultural Solutions

CCS was my first international volunteer program. We were more or less 25 in my group, ranging from age 18 to 66, I was in the older range. I found the price a bargain. We lived in a villa in a lovely, upscale, residential area in Rabat. CCS provided us with 3 excellent meals plus tea and pasteries daily. The CCS van took us to our placement in several groups depending on the time our work began. The house was beautiful, well staffed with CCS reps, cooks, maid service, drivers. The location was excellent and near downtown, bus stops, train stations, etc. Volunteers shared rooms with bunk beds and adequate closet/storage space. CCS provided us with discussion groups, language and cooking classes, field trips, cultural activities during the afternoons after lunch. They also provided us with access to laundry services near the house. There were excellent shopping areas, cyber cafes, spa, etc. We worked hard and most volunteers esp those who worked in hospitals or orphanages really had some emotional experiences. I taught English to professional adults and university students and loved every second of it. From what I learned from other CCS volunteers and my own experience, CCS has to be at the top of any international volunteer group. I have recommended many of my friends and colleagues to give it a try. It's truly a positive life changing and enhancing experience. I am 100% grateful for this excellent experience.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Oct 17, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Cross-Cultural Solutions

The first time I ever volunteered abroad was in 2008 with Cross Cultural Solutions. I'm quite the traveler, but have never volunteered internationally before so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I was nervous when I arrived, but quickly saw I had nothing to worry about. The program manager was amazing and could not have been cooler to talk with. He wanted to make sure every volunteer not only had a good time, but a positive experience working so he was always around to answer any questions we had.

The organization took precaustins to ensure our safety such as posting a security guard outside the house 24/7 and we were driven to and from the orphanage we worked at.

The home we stayed in was incredible and really clean. Our three meals a day were always great and the staff who worked at the house was very friendly.

I highly recommend this program. It is expensive, but well worth the money. I've learned you get what you pay for with international volunteer organizations.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Sep 19, 2011
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

I am sure you had good time with CCS, but have you ever check where your money goes, they claim they are none-profit making organization, how come the CEO get half million salry per year, if you really want to change the poor children please help them finding an apropriate organization.CCS charge 2600 dollars for two weeks doesn't pay a single penny in Moshi, if you don't believe please visit KICHIJI at Boma near Moshi, where they volunteers and other orphanages near Moshi. one third of money you pay they spend for food and accomodation and rest goes to CCS staff in New York.
I think this women doesn\'t have any work, therefore she is keep posting.
hello George/Heather Newen, Did you really travel with CC.

Projects Abroad

Without Projects Abroad, I do not think that I would have been able to have such a successful trip to Morocco. Sure, I could have planned my own trip, but I would not have been able to locate a family in the beautiful old part of Rabat, the nation's capital, on my own, and I would not have been able to find such a qualified French tutor without their assistance either. Furthermore, being part of Projects Abroad gave me the opportunity to network with other ex-pats during our weekly get-togethers. Projects Abroad also accepted my outside scholarship money. When I went to Morocco, it was the first time I had ever been to a Muslim country, and Projects Abroad really helped me adjust while also letting me discover the country by myself. I was able to travel freely without feeling like Projects Abroad was breathing down my neck, but I also knew that if I needed help, staff was only a phone call and a few miles away.

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: May 9, 2011
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

We Love Spain

awesome time!! i love morocco, great food, people and beutiful country, and the carnival trip was so much fun.
Portugal was my favorite excursion, gorgeous beaches, party all the time.
i love spain, we love spain.
Kevin

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco, Portugal
Posted: Jun 3, 2010
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

My friend and I went to Morocco to volunteer last May. As two young girls traveling alone, we put our trust in Global Crossroads. I have to say that it was one of the scariest experiences of my life, and I would warn travelers to NEVER TRAVEL with Global Crossroads.
My friend and I were supposed to be in Rabat for a month, staying together with a family that we had been sent information about. When we arrived, we were taken to a completely rural neighborhood and told that we were going to be split up into separate houses, with random families, and without any means to contact each other.
Over the next two days, we were honestly scared for our lives. My friend was followed home by a group of men one night. We were told by our "guide" to get in a car with strange men who we did not know. We had no way to contact anyone from Global Crossroads.
I was staying with a 27 year old man and his mother (I was 19). While I was staying there, he kept asking me about how to get a visa to live in Canada, if there are jobs, and telling me how hard it is for Moroccans to leave the country.
My friend and I decided to leave Rabat on our fourth day. That night, my host-brother gave me a ring and proposed to me. When I (obviously) said no, he would not leave the subject, telling me how happy he would make me, and would not take no for an answer, even as I explained (repetitively) that I had a boyfriend. That night I slept with me passport under my pillow and my pepper-spray next to my bed.
My friend and I left the next day; wanting to take as few questions as possible we told our "guide" that my friends grandmother had died and we had to leave right away.
After coming home and explaining the situation to Global Crossroads, we received only $300 of our $2000 back. The man who I spoke to called me a liar and would not believe me that my home-stay brother proposed, nor would he listen to any of the other scary situations we had been placed in. While we were there we received no support, no one to go to for help, all the information that had been given to us before we left was a lie, and the "orphanage" that we were supposed to volunteer at didnt seem to exist, as no one would take us there. Upon our arrival, no one of our guides new anything about the details we had been previously given. Global Crossroads refused to believe any of this information.
I would strongly advise against going anywhere with Global Crossroads. I can honestly say it was the scariest experience of my life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Apr 7, 2010
Overall:
1
Support:
0
Value:
0

Comments

Dear All Once we noticed that our ground coordinators of Morrocco are not working professionally, we closed Morrocco program last year. We really aplogise for inconveniences in Morrocco and Vietnam. We Global Crossroad, Dallas, TX

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

My experience in Morocco was amazing; the staff at the orphanage was so helpful and the kids were so nice! I learned a lot during my stay, and A Broader View made sure that I was comfortable and happy the whole time I was there. Everyone was accomodating and even though there was a language barrier, everything worked out wonderfully! I highly recommend this program.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Oct 12, 2009
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Comments

When you say language barrier, what do you mean? I was told I couldn't do the Moroccan program because my Arabic is less than fluent (though I have rudimentary knowledge) and my French is minimal. In which of these languages are you conversant?

Cross-Cultural Solutions

International Volunteering changed my life. Morocco was incredible, the staff was wonderful - and made me want to volunteer again, so while in Morocco, I chose Peru while I was there. I was awed by the staff, and how everytime I had a question they dropped everything to help me out. I was very impressed with the experience and I felt I changed as the week went on. I was only in Morocco for a week and only in Ayacucho for a week, but the week was incredible. It helps a lot when the company goes out of their way to help you constantly. I always felt extremely supported by the CCS staff, and international volunteering was just a life altering experience. I remember every single one of the children at the orphanage in Morocco and how happy they seemed to have you around, and I was remember every experinece I had in Ayacucho. Such big hearts and such big smiles.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Morocco
Posted: Oct 11, 2009
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Hi Grace - I am thinking of going to Ayacucho next March as a somewhat older volunteer than normal [late 50's] A couple of things, do you think it was worth the high cost and also, was Ayacucho a good venue? I would like to work in an orphanage/young children? Would be glad to hear from you. My e-mail is: victoria@spinneyhouse.co.uk

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