When you are in Morocco trekking, you will often come into direct contact with locals in small and sometimes remote villages and homesteads. Many people from outside Morocco will see a need based on their cultures or ways of life in some form or way. People often ask “how can we help?” especially regarding schools.
- We run our own community projects one of which is for the schools in Rachid´s village. Around 70 children are taught in 3 small concrete built rooms which are badly in need of assistance; heating for the classrooms as it is above snow level, perspex for the windows instead of glass, WC upgrades, a wall around the classrooms, computers, stationary and books.
As there is little or no tourism impacting directly on some regions and often where it does, only the men benefit; leaving the women and children set apart. We believe that sustainable projects are more beneficial than the noble donations of clothing etc. from visitors that we also organise and distribute.
- By sponsoring sapling trees for example, you are giving villagers the opportunity to make a small income, to gain fruits, nuts, oils, fodder, wood, medicinal extracts, and work for many decades. For as little as €3 we can buy a reasonably sized tree; olives, almonds, cherries, apples, figs, walnuts as well as other fruits can be planted in the valleys and terraced fields of the Atlas Mountains
- You can also sponsor a young animal; a lamb, kid or calf can also provide income and sources of food, manure for the land, leather, etc
- There are projects to help with providing water to villages, small buildings, environmental issues and setting up associations to give women work and a way to sell their artisan products.
- In the Sahara, we take donated craft materials to women who then make wonderful artisan items for sale to tourists.
- We started a “Bottle Project” in one kasbah, teaching them how to reuse the waste plastic water bottles as building blocks which they are using to rebuild walls and other structures. While we would like to see the plastic reduced, in this region, the scarcity of drinkable water leaves no alternative at this time.
- We are helping a new women’s association who are producing date syrup, hand-rolled couscous, a Sahara spice mix and perfume to market and sell their products.
- We are looking at ways to finance very cheap solar lights that would be very beneficial in places like the Saghro Mountains, where they have no electricity.
Nowadays people can set up LaunchGood and other crowdfunding accounts to help specific ideas. You can take cooking classes in Berber homes and have lunch in a home to directly help a family. We use local homestays on our treks where you can spend the night in a traditional village house with a local family.
Trek to make a difference: By coming on our treks, you are already helping as we donate a percentage of the price to one of our projects. Thank you. If you would like to become involved, or wish to know how to help with a specific project, send us over an email and we can discuss it further.
This year we have started another initiative; Trek to Make a Difference. We invite people who would like to gather donations for schools and villages from their local community, get yourself sponsored to pay for costs like guides and the muleteam, your costs and the cost of flying in extra luggage. We then take you and your donations on a trek for 2 or more days to deliver the donated goods directly to the schools and villages in the High Atlas. This is hugely fulfilling and of course gets directly to the heart of need.