Assist children with down syndrome.
AIMS OF THE PROJECT:
The objective of this project is to work for the integration of children with down syndrome and help them master basic useful skills, teach them social manners and encourage their social integration (through scholar support and cultural activities) to ensure them a life as ordinary as possible.
The center has the capacity to welcome 40 children with down syndrome but only half of them are attending classes because of a lack of transport.
The daily activities are:
• Take care of down syndrome children and accompany them in their daily tasks
• Organize leisure activities
• Support the teachers by helping to teach them manners: how to sit down, how to eat, etc.
• Provide them scholar support in a school where all kind of children attend classes and encourage their integration with the other kids.
• Organize workshops: Painting – Sport – Cooking – Literacy – Music – Outdoors excursions, etc.
• Develop self-appreciation in the heart of the children through a skill-based approach.
Just in front of the center, there is a medical center where the children get follow-up for psychological issues, physiotherapy, speech therapy...
The staff of this association is mostly composed of parents who were interested in giving children in this situation a better life based on integration.
The center hosts several children with trisomy 21 and the volunteers will take part in their everyday life habits and discover aspect of the Moroccan culture through practical and social involvement. They will get in touch with national volunteers and social workers in the center, which give them the opportunity to get involved in the community, not only inside the center but also outside, when they finish work.
Marrakech is the capital of the mid-south-western region of Morocco called “Marrakesh-Asfi”. It owes it nickname “Red city” or “Ochre city” to its red sandstone building walls. It is among the 5 biggest cities of the country and benefits from a hot semi-arid climate (about 12°C in winter and 32 to 45°C in summer).
The Jemma El-Fnaa is one of the most famous squares of Africa and is the city’s activity and trade center. Snake charmers, acrobats, magicians, musicians, monkey trainers, herb sellers, storytellers, dentists, pickpockets and entertainers in medieval garb still abound in the square.
Marrakesh hosts many national and Islamic festivals including the National Folklore Festival, the Berber Festival and the International Film Festival of Marrakesh, which aspires to be the North African version of Cannes.
The best way to explore the streets and alleyways of the city is to dive in and get lost. Check out for the dotted signs that will point you back to the Dejeema el Fna and don’t hesitate to seek help from locals. If you let them walk you to a place they might ask you for money, in that case no problem you can politely decline, but if they did take you to a nice place you would ordinarily miss it doesn’t hurt to give away 10 or 20 dirhams (1 or 2 euros).
Keep in mind that bargaining is a huge part of the Moroccan culture; don’t be afraid to do it. When you get used to it, it’s a very nice and fun way to start a conversation with locals and learn more about their way of life.
Further information about the country will be attached in the National Profile form.
• No previous working experience required.
• Enthusiastic, positive, patient and respectful people needed.
• People psychologically prepared to work with children suffering various disabilities.
• Willingness to develop ties with other nationalities and learn new things, of course we encourage everyone to follow the pace they feel comfortable with.
The center is open from 8am to 5pm. They expect volunteers to:
• Take care of the children and accompany them in their daily tasks.
• Organize leisure activities of children with Down Syndrome (artistic activities, sport sessions, etc.)
• Help the teachers and social workers out in teaching the children manners: how to eat, how to behave in public etc.
• Provide scholar support in a creative way (with games, songs, etc.)
• Help in the kitchen for breakfast and lunch preparation.
The volunteers can choose between living with a host family or sharing a flat with other volunteers.
ARRIVAL OPTIONS AND MEETING POINT:
Marrakech train station is the ideal meeting point.
Marrakesh airport has a lot of flight connections from all over the world. Otherwise, you can fly from any other city and take a train. You can check the train timetables on the ONCF website: http://www.oncf.ma/
From the Airport to the train station, you can take a bus or a taxi. Please remember you can only pay in dirhams, the local currency so don’t forget to change money inside the airport.
There is a special airport bus (number 19) that departs right from the outside of the airport.
As for the taxis, they are a good option but you would have to deal the price beforehand. The normal price is 100 Dirhams.
Once you have your flights details please pass them by e-mail to your interlocutor so you can arrange with him/her the meeting point.
The info sheet will be send to you by e-mail 3 weeks prior departure.