Our volunteers provide young people from poor families the chance to learn English and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment in the future
Education in Morocco is made free and compulsory to children from the age of 7 up until 15 years of age. Enrolment for primary education is around 90% but drop-out rates in the secondary stage (12 to 15) are amongst some of the highest in the world, especially amongst girls who are expected to stay at home and help. It is therefore no surprise that literacy rates between 15 to 24 years olds in Morocco are as low as 72% for women and 87% for men.
The main language in Morocco is Arabic, with French being the second language of the majority. However, English is increasingly becoming the foreign language of choice – particularly due to the high levels of youth unemployment and national economical shift from agriculture to service related industries, such as tourism and telecommunications. Furthermore with no welfare state in place, it is important that young people adapt to the modernisation of the job market. Thus English language training has become increasingly sought after.
Due to a decline in government spending on public education and shortage of English teachers within Morocco, the economically disadvantaged members of society are reliant on the help of international volunteers in order to learn English.
PMGY collaborates with a number of school and community projects in Rabat. Our volunteers are mobilised to provide the children and young people from poor families the chance to learn English and improve their chances of gaining meaningful employment in the future.
Volunteers are placed either at a local primary or secondary school. The children are aged from 6 to 11 at the primary school and 11 to 15 at the secondary school.
Schools in Rabat do not have English as part of the curriculum, so volunteers will lead their own lessons and will need to use a lot of initiative to succeed. It is imperative for volunteers to plan, prepare and structure there lessons for each day to get the most out of there day.
PMGY’s local team are on hand to help you with ideas on what to teach. The primary focus is on English teaching, although French-speaking volunteers can teach French. The children will only have a basic standard of English and therefore you should prepare teaching elementary English. The staff at the project only speak a limited level of English and therefore volunteers should carefully plan lessons and try to pick up as much Arabic as possible.
We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching programme overseas.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed in daylight hours. Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan and some will pray more or read the Koran. The practice is intended to help teach Muslims “self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity”. It’s common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.
The dates for Ramadan are 27th May to 25th June (2017).
Over the course of Ramadan, PMGY volunteers will help with a number of activities at orphanages we support in Rabat. Help is needed organising activities for the children focusing on fun activities such as art, games and sport, as well as some informal English language lessons. There is also a great need for support in caring for the special needs children and young adults at the orphanage.
You should arrive into Rabat–Salé (airport code RBA) on the selected Saturday start date. Programmes start on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month. You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation on this day.
Can I use this program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please contact us directly.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.
The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.
In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.
When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.
While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.
Volunteer work usually takes place across the course of the day. Expect to teach for a total of around 3 to 4 hours a day across the morning and afternoon with exact times varying dependent on your daily schedule. Volunteers are largely required to teach English however there may also be the opportunities to get involved in sporting activities.
IN & AROUND RABAT
PMGY’s Morocco volunteers are lucky enough to be based in the medieval coastal city of Rabat. Relatively undiscovered, those who do venture there are in for a right treat.
Morocco’s capital is a gem of a city that combines the old with the new: a place where Moroccan history spectacularly collides with modern life. Unlike the hustle and bustle of other Moroccan cities, in Rabat, you are left to go about your business – and to watch everyone else go about theirs in peace. Being blissfully ignored on the streets gives you the space and time to discover the hidden depths of this fascinating city.
It has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, oodles of sights to explore and more wonderful restaurants than you can shake a stick at. Rabat offers a deep insight into real Moroccan life plus you’re only 15 minutes away from the beach!
PMGY volunteers are based in the heart of Rabat’s Old Quarter, commonly known as the Medina. The quiet medina has an authentic feel to it and is characterised by maze-like streets and traditional markets (souks). You can also find beautiful landmarks like the Grand Mosque and the Moulay Sliman Mosque here.
KASBAH LES OUDAIAS
This site occupies the oldest part of the city and commands powerful views over the river and ocean from its cliff-top perch. The Kasbah is predominately residential and the narrow streets are lined with whitewashed houses – most of which were built by Muslim refugees from Spain. It’s a tranquil and picturesque place to wander and there’s no need for a guide.
LE TOUR HASSAN
Rabat’s most famous landmark tower was an ambitious project, which would have been the second-largest mosque of its time. But the Sultan died before it was finished. Unfortunately his successors didn’t have the same passion for it so it so the 60m-tall minaret tower was abandoned at 44m.
We provide a free pickup service from the airport. If you would like us to also arrange your return, we will charge a fee of £20
During your time with PMGY in Morocco you will live in our Volunteer House located in the heart of Rabat’s Old Quarter, commonly known as the Medina. The quiet medina has an authentic feel to it and is characterised by maze-like streets and traditional markets (souks). You can also find beautiful landmarks like the Grand Mosque and the Moulay Sliman Mosque here.
The accommodation is a basic but comfortable Riad. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house that comes with an interior courtyard. There are five rooms with up to 3 people per single-sex room. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet.
The house has free Wi-Fi (although intermittent) and a communal area for volunteers to hang out as well as an open top roof terrace for volunteers to chill out on. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled.
The property is based in the Medina district and all the projects are within walking distance so you are perfectly situated to get to and from your project easily as well as to many of the tourist sites.
During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
Each day we will provide you with breakfast and dinner at the house which will be prepared by the house maid. For breakfast, you’ll be provided with bread, yoghurt, cereal, jams, tea, coffee etc. In the evening you will be provided with a traditional Moroccan dish.
You will need to purchase your own lunch. Eating out is really cheap in Rabat and there are plenty of cuisines available. There are many restaurants in the Medina that you can easily walk to from the house or when returning from your project work. During your orientation period, our local coordinators will recommend some reasonably priced but good quality restaurants to go to. You can comfortably pick up a traditional Moroccan meal such as Tajine or Kebabs for around £2 to £3. There is only one restaurant open in the Medina for lunch during Ramadan. Ali will show you where this restaurant is so you can purchase lunch.
Note: Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements but there may be instances where you may need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense.