Last night we received the tragic news that an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude had hit Morocco.
As you may know, the Wanderlust Women, have a great connection with Morocco, particularly the Atlas Mountains and Marrakesh through our international expeditions and having started our Orphan charity project.
Orphans in Need
The Wanderlust Women
In June 2022, the Wanderlust Women embarked on their first international expedition to climb Mount Toubkal, Morocco, starting from the highest village in the Atlas Mountains, Armoud.
The Wanderlust Women’s ethos is about creating a safe space for women outdoors alongside bringing communities together.
We wanted to take this vision forward on our first international expedition, recognising the importance of community and giving back to those that needed our help. For this reason, the expedition to Mount Toubkal was organised with a combined community project, our way of giving back. The aim was to climb the mountain, followed by a day in the village with the helpful and friendly porters that guided us through the expedition, greet their families and meet and play with the orphans in the village.
The humble guides get paid a small sum a day (what you and I would pay for 2 coffees in the UK!) and lead groups through the challenging terrain wearing basic hiking attire. This is one of the projects the Wanderlust Women want to support going forward, addition to the Orphans project.
The Wanderlust women, a group of 20 of us, were welcomed at the home of Hamid, one of the porters, who also took on the care of the orphans in the village. We were served Moroccan tea by Hamid’s wife and the kitchen was bustling with women from the community. This is where we met the most gentle souls, young children who were in dire need of our help. Amongst them were Khadijah (aged 10), Hamzah (aged 8). Mohammed (aged 8), Abdul Hamid (aged 8), Layla (aged 4), Hamid (aged 2).
The women presented the children with gifts that were bought with them and donations that were collected before the expedition. We spent some time teaching the children the alphabet in English, having an art lesson and playing with the children outdoors with their new toys.
Armoud is a remote village high up in the Atlas mountains. There is one small shop in the village with food and drink and access to fruit, veg and groceries is by walking or taking a mule down a steep descent to the village of Imlil.
Many of the people that live in this village are native Berbers, strong and resilient in their work. As per their customs and generosity, the orphans in this village are looked after by all in whatever way they can. The children range from ages 2-10 and are currently in need of donations for food, clothing and educational materials.
The Wanderlust Women will continue to visit Armoud Village, Morocco in the up and coming months and would welcome any donations that you can provide, big or small for the orphans in need. Read below for more details on how the women started work on this project through their first international expedition.
The money will be distributed based on needs throughout the year to ensure consistency and regular funding for the families involved.
Eid in Morocco
In July 2022, the Wanderlust Women decided to go back and spend Eid in the village taking with them the generous donations that were provided by friends, families and contacts.
The sacrifice is a religious and symbolic part of the Eid-ul-Adha celebrations in the village of Armoud, the first half of the day was spent watching the men carry out the rituals of sacrifice, which was followed by an afternoon of visits to the homes of their nearest and dearest and being greeted by their selection of Eid treats and Moroccan tea.
The orphans came to visit the home of Hamid as per custom and following the lovely tea and biscuits proceeded to play outside with some of the play equipment that was provided by the Wanderlust Women on their first trip. This was then followed by an art class, learning numbers and colours. We could see that they were wearing the clothes that were given to them by the Wanderlust Women which was really heartwarming but also difficult to see.
Sahi ibn Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Myself and the caretaker of an orphan will be in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together.