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Volunteer in Morocco with International Volunteer HQ! IVHQ has a wide range of volunteer abroad projects available in Morocco, including Teaching English, Teaching French, Childcare, Women's Education, Sports Development and a special project during the holy month of Ramadan.
Arabic and Berber
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.
About the Morocco program
LOCATION OF MOROCCO VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAM
The IVHQ Morocco volunteer program is based in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. In addition to Rabat, Casablanca, Sale and Temara and surrounding areas, IVHQ volunteers have the opportunity to work in the Atlas Mountains, Oasis and the Moroccan desert.
START AND DURATION OF MOROCCO VOLUNTEER ABROAD PROGRAM
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.
MOROCCO VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS
Volunteers must be 18 years or older on the volunteer program start date, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ partner staff on arrival in Morocco. Volunteers who wish to participate on the Ramadan Program do not need to be practising Muslims, however they are required to observe Ramadan customs while in Morocco.
MOROCCO LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
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 on the Working with Women project must have an intermediate level of French or Arabic. 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.
HOW MANY OTHER VOLUNTEERS WILL THERE BE?
Between 10 and 30 volunteers start on our volunteer programs in Morocco each month. What does this mean for you? More people to socialize and travel with, more people to meet from different cultures, more people to volunteer with, more projects to work on, more staff support, better infrastructure for volunteers and lower fees!
Morocco volunteer reviews
Visit our Volunteer Abroad Reviews page to read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Morocco.
"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)
Morocco volunteer project descriptions
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. Volunteers do not need to be qualified or experienced teachers to participate on this project, however IVHQ offers volunteers with the opportunity to upskill for their Teaching projects by gaining an internationally recognized TEFL certification. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn more.
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.
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.
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 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. Volunteers will focus primarily on education and teaching during their time in Morocco. However, other tasks can sometimes include sewing, teaching art, arranging sport and activities, teaching French and/or English, computer training, offering academic support for girls in Dar Attaliba (House of Female Students) and occasional childcare. Volunteers with relevant skills can also provide training in finance, management, income generating trade activities, health, communication, women’s rights and single parenting. Additionally, volunteers with a background in education can provide training to local teaching staff in best practice education and gender equality. 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, volunteers who wish to participate on the Women's Education project should have at least an intermediate level of Arabic and/or French. We recommend this to ensure volunteers have a successful placement, as many of the women who volunteers work with do not speak English.
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.
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. In 2015, Ramadan takes place from 18 June to 17 July 2015.
VOLUNTEER ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
Volunteers are accommodated in a home stay where they 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 home stays volunteers have their own rooms. Bedding is provided, but it is recommended that volunteers bring their own sleeping bag for weekends away, along with a towel and toiletries. It is important to note that Moroccan homes have a shared living environment in which Sdader’s (Moroccan couches) are used as beds within the homes while also used during the day for sitting and dining.
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 US$5 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.
Orientation is taken 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.
VOLUNTEER LANGUAGE LESSONS
Our program staff 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. The cost for small group classes are listed below and only apply to groups of 3 or more. Individual volunteers interested in private classes can arrange these directly with the program staff once in Morocco.
Small Group Classes - 1 Week
2 hours/day US$136
3 hours/day US$176 (includes 1 private hour)
4 hours/day US$214
Small Group Classes - 4 Weeks
2 hours/day US$419
3 hours/day US$582 (includes 1 private hour)
4 hours/day US$775
First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays: A typical volunteer day is as follows:
9.00 AM Breakfast at the homestay or volunteer house.
10.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. There is a tea break and lunch break with times varying depending on the placement.
2.00 PM - 5.00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.
8.00 PM Dinner at the homestay or volunteer house.
Please note, this schedule can vary depending on the particular project the volunteer in participating on. Volunteers taking Arabic or French language lessons spend half the day volunteering and the other half of the day taking language lessons.
During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Rabat and Morocco. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to destinations, such as Marrakech, Merzouga (Dunes), Tinghir (Ksabah), Fes, Meknes (imperial cities), Volubilis (Roman), Tanger, and south of Europe (Gibraltar, Andalusia, Portugal, south of Spain).
Morocco Volunteer Fees:
|Volunteer period||Program fee US$|
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee (refundable if you choose not to go*) – ongoing support from IVHQ staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, IVHQ Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee – airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
What additional costs will I have?
Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), criminal background check, vaccinations, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Arabic/French lessons (optional), in-country trips and tours, souvenirs, spending money (volunteers in Morocco generally find US$40 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses).
* - Terms and conditions do apply.