When travelling off the beaten track, we are making an impression on the local people we come into contact with, and we have a moral obligation to ensure it is a positive one.
One of the first objectives of the association is to determine how and where we can help make a difference by improving the lives of the local people in remote mountain villages, help to self-help, not charity, and without spoiling their culture.
For villages in Morocco we have a support program on the drawing board, and the non-profit Ourika.Org is in the course of creation. We learn that medical equipment is needed by the altruistic local village doctor in the Ourika valley, who helps the poor people free of charge, and even for pays their medication...
NEWS: Details now available about our ambulance & mobile clinic project: Ambulance project
UPDATES 2010 and 2011 The limitations were soon evident, as our journey has taken an unexpected turn. We arrived in Tanger port, Morocco, and after hours of being shuffled between customs stations, we ended up in their compound for the night, and were escorted back to the ferry to Spain. Ambulances are not allowed. No wonder there is a shortage of ambulances in the country. We saw two other ambulances in the compound. We are trying to find out why the ambulance was not allowed in.... anyone who has an answer, please contact us.
We are very sorry that this is a disappointment for a number of people who expected us in Morocco. The country and its people have a special place in our hearts, but of course there are others countries in Africa, which have a greater need for our ambulance project, and would appreciate it more...!
UPDATE FEB 2011
We have received some opinions with regard to why foreigners are not allowed to help with ambulances in Morocco. One possible reason is the high profile royal project; according to the press article below MH King Mohammed VI is helping to set up health centers and giving ambulances to the rural areas. Of course Morocco is a rich country, but we wish it would benefit people in the more remote areas as well... this project proves that it is needed, and it is still very much needed in the south.
Morocco News - HM the King inaugurates health center...
UPDATE November 2012:
The late Doctor of the Poor, our good friend Mohammed Alouah, has died. His unexpected disappearance has left an immense gap in the whole Ourika valley considering the huge amount of help he used to grant people. His oustanding and unblemished reputation will, undoubtedly, live on forever. People are mourning him everywhere and refer to him as "The doctor of the poor".
Our ambulance project is on ice ... but we hope that at least we can help the local people in one way or another.
På rejse udenfor alfarvej påvirker vi den lokalbefolkning vi kommer i kontakt med, og det er et moralsk ansvar at det bliver en positiv påvirkning. I fjerne bjergområder har folk behov for varmt tøj, skolebøger, medicinsk udstyr - listen er lang.
En af foreningens første opgaver er at undersøge hvordan vi bedst kan hjælpe med at forbedre den lokale bjergbefolknings livsbetingelser, men hjælp til selv-hjælp, ikke charity, og uden at spolere deres kultur.
For Marokkos afsidesliggende landsbyer har vi et hjælpeprojekt i udviklingsfasen...: En almennyttig forening Ourika.Org er under stiftelse, da vi erfarer at den altruistiske landsbylæge i Ourika-dalen hjælper de fattige ganske gratis, og ovenikøbet betaler deres medicin, men har behov for medicinsk udstyr til sit arbejde.
NYHED: Details now available on the ambulance & mobile clinic project: Ambulance project
OPDATERING: Ambulance nægtet indrejse i Marokko ... hvorfor?
OPDATERING nov. 2012
Den lokale Doctor of the Poor i>, vores gode ven Mohammed Alouah, er død. Hans uventede bortgang har efterladt en enorm kløft i hele Ourika dalen, i kraft af den enorme mængde af hjælp, han har givet folk. Hans minde vil uden tvivl leve evigt. Folk sørger ham overalt og henvise til ham som "de fattiges læge"
Ambulance projektet er nu på is... men vi håber at vi på en eller anden måde kan hjælpe de lokale.