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Working and volunteering

Volunteering

There are many international and local organisations that arrange voluntary work on regional development projects in Morocco.

They generally pay nothing, sometimes not even providing lodging, and are aimed at young people looking for something different to do for a few weeks over the summer.

Some of these organisations are really summer camps and international exchange programs.

A good starting point is Lonely Planet's The Big Trip, a guide to gap years and overseas adventures that includes a chapter on volunteering and working overseas, as well as a directory of resources.

Organisations

International or local organisations that sometimes have Morocco placements or camps:

Baraka Community Partnerships (www.barakacommunity.com) At the Tijhza Village Project in the High Atlas, this organisation needs help with schemes such as a reforestation program, repairing and renovating poorer homes, supporting the two schools, establishing a preschool and mothers’ group, and developing compost toilets and bee-keeping programs.

Chantiers Sociaux Marocains Rabat-based NGO engaged in nationwide health, education and development projects, with international volunteers aged 18 to 35.

Jeunesse des Chantiers Marocains (http://perso.me nara.ma/youthcamps) A nonprofit, youth-focused travel and cultural exchange organisation. Programs in Marrakesh include volunteering at a nursery school or orphanage, with accommodation in a homestay organised.

Morocco Exchange (www.moroccoexchange.org) Offers short-term student exchange and travel programs with a focus on cross-cultural education through visiting cities and rural villages. Previous custom-made programs have explored Morocco's medical system, the use of the French language, and women's rights.

Peace Corps (www.peacecorps.gov) Long-established US volunteer scheme with deep roots in Morocco; volunteer programs lasting two years.

Projects Abroad (www.projects-abroad.co.uk) The UK-based organisation offers Moroccan volunteering holidays from healthcare to working with nomads.

Idealist.org Has volunteering and job opportunities in Morocco.

Volunteer Abroad (www.volunteerabroad.com/Morocco.cfm) A good place to start looking for volunteer places, as it provides links to organisations with Moroccan programs.

International Cultural Youth Exchange (www.icye.org) Allows you to search for upcoming Moroccan volunteer opportunities.

Work

  • With huge unemployment and a largely out-of-work youthful population, Morocco isn’t fertile ground for job opportunities.
  • A good command of French is a prerequisite and some Arabic would help.
  • If you secure a position, your employer will have to help you get a work permit and arrange residency, which can be a long process.
  • There are more volunteering opportunities.

Teaching English

There are a few possibilities for teaching English as a foreign language in Morocco, although they are not terribly well paid. Rabat is one of the best places to start looking.

The best times to try are around September and October (the beginning of the academic year) and, to a lesser extent, early January. Having a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification will be useful.

American Language Centers (www.aca.org.ma) Ten schools around the country.

TEFL.com Has a database of vacancies.

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