Faye’s Volunteer Report – October 20th, 2017
“After being back in cold Germany for about a month, I had some time to reflect on my stay in Morocco. Even now it is nearly impossible to find the right words for the two months I lived and worked in Taroudant for Moroccan Children’s Trust.
When I left home in July, little did I know what to expect from this crazy time that was about to start.
I had just graduated from highschool and had never traveled to a non-european country before.
The skype interview with my volunteer coordinator really helped me to prepare myself, but I’ll never forget the moment I actually arrived at the volunteer house.
During these summer months, the house was full of volunteers and it was so interesting to get to know so many people from different countries.
I was lucky to arrive at a weekend, where a great trip had been planned.
So the next day, we went to Paradise Valley, a wonderful place to hike and swim in little natural pools between lots of palmtrees. On our way back we stopped at the beach in Agadir and had a nice swim in the Atlantic Ocean. What a great start!
Now the two weeks of induction followed, with classes in Classical and Moroccan Arabic (Dareeja), as well as learning about the Moroccan culture, which really helped to comprehend the Moroccan life and traditions and behave respectfully towards the people.
The Dareeja classes were a great basis for communication and I really enjoyed practicing all I learned in everyday life.
But most of all I was eager to finally go to Centre Amane and meet the children.
Being a bit nervous because I feared I wouldn’t be able to communicate with the children, I learned that my worries were in vain.
Despite my lack of Dareeja or French, the children were curious and happy to meet me and we just did handicraft together.
Centre Amane is a safe space for children, who come from different backgrounds and face difficult situations at home. At the centre they have the opportunity to play and learn and entrust their problems to the social workers.
During the summer holidays, my task was to provide the children with activities, that are entertaining and educational at once.
Although I had worked with children before, this was a new challenge for me and not always that easy.
But with time, I felt I knew the children and I grew more confident in what I was doing.
Moreover, I was allowed to take over the English classes from two volunteers from the U.S., which was another challenging but great expericence.
Another part of my programme was to visit the Lalla Amina orphanage.
The orphanage is understaffed, which means they can always need a helping hand with changing diapers or feeding the babies.
But more important, giving the babies and toddlers affection and talking to them, as they don’t get the necessary attention they really need.
Being there for the first time was hard, especially mentally, but I also felt so lucky when I could spend my time at Lalla Amina, seeing the joy of the children and the women working there, who were very thankful.
Beside this varied work, we mostly spent our weekends with exploring the surroundings, like going to Marrakech, renting a motorbike or just relaxing on the beach.
I never expected to bond with so many great people, who made this time unforgettable and whom I miss so much now.
Although I have been the youngest to ever volunteer for MCT, my age did not matter in any way and it was even more interesting to meet people, that shared a lot of their experience with me.
In terms of walking around alone as a woman, I don’t want to conceal that it can feel uncomfortable at first, but I learned how to cope with unpleasant situations and it made me feel even more confident, so that I enjoyed to walk around or get some coffee by myself after some time.
I also don’t want to forget to thank my Moroccan buddy and my other Moroccan friends, who took me to nice places in the city and helped me to intigrate into life in Taroudant.
In conclusion I only can say, that this intense and amazing time imprinted me in a way, that exceeded all my expectations. I feel so lucky to have been a part of MCT’s/Fondation Amane’s work and meeting all the generous and hardworking people, who work to protect the children and give them a safe environment. I’ll be back inshallah!
Shukran bezzef to everyone!!”