Volunteer in Morocco
At a glance…
- Available year-round
- 6 meaningful projects including a Ramadan experience
- Projects based in Rabat, Casablanca and Sale
- Accommodation in homestays
- Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
- Program fees from $310 for 1 week (approximately CA$390)
- Weekend travel opportunities in Africa and Europe
- Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Morocco each month
- Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Morocco to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
- Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Morocco will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
- Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
- Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
- Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
- New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
- Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Morocco with your new-found friends.
The IVHQ Morocco volunteer program is based in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. Volunteers are required to fly into Rabat-Sale Airport (RBA), which is a 8 to 10 hour flight from most major airports in Canada. Volunteer projects are located in Rabat, Sale and Casablanca. IVHQ also offers a separate volunteer program in the popular Moroccan destination of Marrakech. If you are interested in volunteering in Marrakech, you can learn more about the Marrakech volunteer program here.
Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Monday of each month. During the month of Ramadan all volunteers will begin their program on the Ramadan Project. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 24 weeks.
Volunteers on the Childcare project work with children from disadvantaged neighborhoods through organizing and engaging in activities to entertain the children and help develop their cognitive skills. Volunteers have the opportunity to design daily activities for the children, incorporating teaching basic English, physical development activities (music and dance, theatre, toys and games), and arts and craft (painting and drawing). The aim of this project is for volunteers to provide underprivileged children in Morocco with new, enriching and exciting activities. There is also the opportunity for volunteers on this project to work within a special needs placement.
Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food and drinking liquids. In Morocco, the most prevalent religion is Islam and around 98% of the population are practising Muslims. The Ramadan project provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to experience Ramadan in a Muslim culture, while helping socially disadvantaged families and brightening the daily lives of the children in poor neighborhoods. Volunteer tasks include teaching English, organizing workshops on ethics and values, running sports activities, organizing local field trips and collecting food. Volunteers who wish to participate on the Ramadan project do not need to be practising Muslims, however they are required to observe Ramadan customs while in Morocco. The Ramadan project is only available during the 4 weeks of Ramadan.
Although the Moroccan Government is working hard to improve literacy and promote professional development through the National Initiative for Human Development (NIHD), a large percentage of Moroccan children and teenagers are not given the chance to acquire marketable skills. These young Moroccans are aware that speaking a second language will enable them to further their education and integrate well into the job market. Volunteers work with underprivileged children, providing training in English and information technology. Volunteer tasks include running small workshops, assisting local teachers and organizing educational games and activities. Volunteers can also assist in summer camps. When applying to volunteer in Morocco, volunteers need to choose either Teaching English or Teaching French and if you can teach both languages, please outline this on your application form. As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, they do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate. However, we encourage volunteers to come prepared by completing some relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. Visit our Online TEFL course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.
French serves as a second language in many educated echelons within Morocco and while it is considered an unofficial third language after Modern Standard Arabic and Berber, it is the primary language of commerce and economics in Morocco. In order for young Moroccans to acquire marketable skills and integrate well into the job market, they need to have a strong grasp of the French language. Volunteers work with underprivileged children and teenagers, providing training in French and information technology. Volunteer tasks include running small workshops, assisting local teachers and organizing educational games and activities. Volunteers who wish to join the Teaching French project must be fluent in French. When applying to volunteer in Morocco, volunteers need to choose either Teaching English or Teaching French and if you can teach both languages, please outline this on your application form. Please note, volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on the Teaching French project in Morocco but we do encourage you to conduct independent training to prepare you for your teaching project.
Many women in Morocco suffer from poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, affecting their social environment and in turn their children’s education. Since the establishment of the NIHD (National Initiative for Human Development) in 2005, the Moroccan government has been working hard to improve education, health, and the promotion of income generating activities for women. The Women’s Education project aims to enable local Moroccan women to improve their literacy levels in English, French, and Arabic, and to provide them with professional development opportunities. Volunteers work in local organizations in Rabat, or in rural Moroccan villages, with local women and young girls.
Your work will focus primarily on education and teaching English, and sometimes French. Other tasks can sometimes include sewing, computer training, offering academic support for girls in Dar Attaliba (House of Female Students) and occasional childcare. These additional volunteer tasks are dependent on your program duration, as longer term volunteers with confidence in communicating in French and/or Arabic will have more opportunities to get involved in these activities, provided they have relevant training.
Please note that volunteers applying for this project must have an intermediate level of French and/or Arabic to participate, due to language barriers on this placement.
Sport and physical activity is becoming increasingly popular within Moroccan culture, as locals have begun to recognize the value it has in personal and physical development. In addition to fostering teamwork and building social skills, the involvement in physical activity helps to alleviate delinquency among young Moroccans in developing communities. Volunteers on the Sports Development project contribute to the growth of sport in Morocco through education and coaching of sports, such as rugby, basketball, volleyball, handball, soccer and athletics. Volunteers are also encouraged to introduce new sports and games to the centers in which they are placed. If you have a preference to teach a particular sport please note this on your application when you apply.
The program orientation begins the first and third Monday of each month, and volunteers need to arrive in Rabat on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Rabat International Airport (RBA). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.Canadian travelers do not require a visa to enter Morocco for a duration of 90 days.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Rabat, Casablanca or Sale (location will depend on proximity to your specific placement). Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Morocco prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up at the Rabat Ville Train Station in Rabat on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Moroccan team at the volunteer base in Rabat. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Morocco – Introduction to Morocco, Moroccan Customs, Rules and Expectations, Language Lessons, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Morocco, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day would be as follows
8.00 AM Breakfast at the homestay.
9.00 PM - 10.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is a tea break and lunch break with times varying depending on the placement.
2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
8.00 PM Dinner at the homestay.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the particular project the volunteer in participating on. Volunteers taking Arabic or French language lessons spend half the day volunteering and the other half of the day taking language lessons.
Volunteers are accommodated in a homestay where you will live with a local family and other volunteers. These families receive money from your program fee for support, food and board. It is exciting to stay with a family, as this is an opportunity to learn the Moroccan way of life, meet local people, eat local food, speak the local language (Darija: the Moroccan Arabic dialect) and engage in local customs and traditions. Living is basic, yet still comfortable, and most homestays have electricity and running water. Volunteers can expect to share a room with other volunteers, however in some homestays volunteers have their own rooms. Bedding is provided, but it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag if you wish to travel on the weekends, along with a towel and toiletries. It is important to note that Moroccan homes have a shared living environment in which Sdaders (Moroccan couches) are used as beds within the homes, while also used during the day for sitting and dining.
WiFi is available in the majority of the homestays in Morocco. To keep connected, you can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Influenced by African, Arab, Moorish and Berber cuisines, Moroccan cooking blends Mediterranean fruits and vegetables with spices, typically imported. A typical Moroccan meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by a tagine (Moroccan stew) and bread is eaten with every meal. Lamb or chicken dishes are common, as is couscous topped with meat and vegetables. The consumption of pork and alcohol are prohibited, as per Muslim dietary restrictions and drinking mint tea is a daily tradition. Volunteers in Morocco are served three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Bottled water is readily available in Morocco and volunteers should budget approximately CA$6 per week for this (2 liters per day). If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
“This was such a wonderful experience that it’s hard to accurately verbalize what I gained and how it changed me. Morocco has so much to offer, from minutia (Marrakech’s freshly squeezed orange juice, only 4MAD!) to the glamourous and exotic (hikes through the High Atlas, stargazing in the Sahara, surfing beside camels in Essaouria) there is never a dull moment on these programs. The host families couldn’t have been more welcoming and warm, the local staff were accommodating, the work placement was rewarding, the other volunteers were adventurous and interesting. This is not an all-work-no-play program, so if that is what one is looking for in a placement, Morocco might not be the right country; however, if one were seeking a stimulating adventure and an exciting volunteer experience, IVHQ Morocco is the ideal place for it.” - Mariah Moore (Teaching English Volunteer in Morocco)
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Rabat and Morocco. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to destinations, such as Marrakech, Merzouga (Dunes), Tinghir (Ksabah), Fes, Meknes (imperial cities), Volubilis (Roman), Tanger, and south of Europe (Gibraltar, Andalusia, Portugal, south of Spain).
See our Morocco Travel and Tours page to learn more about the volunteer travel options available in Morocco!
|Languages||Arabic and Berber|
|Currency||Moroccan Dirham (MAD)|
Weather and climate: Morocco has a Mediterranean climate that is generally hot and dry for most of the year, with cooler, yet still mild, temperatures and rainfall during the winter months between November and March. Morocco has widely varying terrain and the climate varies greatly throughout the country. Temperatures can be incredibly high in the southern and south eastern desert areas whereas, the temperature drops considerably in the higher lying mountainous areas, even dropping to freezing point at night. In Rabat, temperatures reach an average high of 27°C (80.6°F) in the summer months and an average high of 17°C (62.6°F) in the winter months. Temperatures can drop to an average of 7°C (44.6°F) in the winter and it is generally always cold in the evenings throughout the year.
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Morocco. Additional requirements apply for Teaching French, Women’s Education and Ramadan volunteers, please read the project description below.
It is not a prerequisite for volunteers to speak Arabic or French, however volunteer work can sometimes be restricted for those with limited Arabic and/or French language skills. Volunteers on the Teaching French project must be fluent in French. Volunteers can take advantage of Arabic and French lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our program staff in Morocco.
Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.
Volunteer Language Lessons - Our local team in Morocco offer Arabic and French lessons to volunteers, which can be organized during the program orientation and are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Arabic or French. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons can help you immensely with your day to day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers wishing to participate in language lessons can make arrangements through our local team during orientation.
- 10 Hour Package – US$204 (approximately CA$260)
- 20 Hour Package – US$409 (approximately CA$515)
- 30 Hour Package – US$614 (approximately CA$770)
- 40 Hour Package – US$819 (approximately CA$1030)