We currently run two challenges in Morocco, The High Atlas Summit Trek and the Sahara desert trek, and it’s a very rare challenger who doesn’t fall in love with the vibrant culture and panoramic landscapes of Morocco. So we wanted to give all our past, present and future Morocco challengers a bit more information as to on where their $20 local community donation goes and what a huge difference it makes.
In Morocco, we give your donations to the wonderful SOS Children’s villages, who help us to make sure the money is channelled to those that really need it; SOS Children cares for vulnerable children affected by poverty, disease, conflict, and natural disasters. They provide orphans and abandoned children with a loving home and a family for life in their SOS Children’s Villages. They also provide support to families at risk of fragmentation in an effort to reduce instances of child abandonment and neglect.
In Morocco they have a village like this in Ait-Ourir, about 40km from Marrakesh at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, a place we actually drive past when on our way to High Atlas. The village was set up in 1985 to provide help for the communities living in the mountain villages and also from those living in the toughest areas of Marrakech. The village in Ait-Ourir has 14 family houses and provides protection for many orphaned and abandoned children from the area. It is a place where the children never need to fear that they will be thrown out and somewhere where they will receive continued support right the way into their adult lives. One of the most exciting things about the village is that, thanks to donations such as those from our participants, they can also provide the children with an education.
Education is a basic human right, but unfortunately there are still many places where access to education is a privilege – even though education is vital for breaking the vicious circle of poverty and goes hand in hand with development.
An SOS Nursery School and an SOS School also form part of the SOS Children’s Village in Ait Ourir, and are among the reasons why we are so proud of this project. The nursery, as with all SOS Children’s Villages, is also attended by children from the surrounding area, meaning, that those children growing up in the rural villages surrounding Ait Ourir are given a better start in life. In Marrakesh itself, there are also five SOS Youth Homes that are home to the older children, and aids them in making the transition from family life to independence, under the guidance of a youth leader.
We’re very proud to be supporting such a fantastic cause and making a real difference to the lives of many young people in the areas where we trek, and this is something that we couldn’t do without you, our fantastic participants, both past and present. So next time you are out training for your challenge in Morocco, reminiscing with your photo album, or thinking about the amazing funds you raised/are raising for your chosen charity, we hope you will also be proud of and spare a thought for those in Morocco whose lives you have changed. A huge THANK YOU to you all!
To learn more about all our charity challenges, and find out how else we get involved with responsible tourism. Please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.