On 7th-9th June 2017, DeliverAid’s PathFinder Team visited the cities of Rabat and Casablanca on the North-West coast of Africa as part of Expedition Foxtrot to set up new supply lines to organisations serving disadvantaged children.
The PathFinder Team, (whose job it is to locate and make contact with new organisations) consisted of Team Leader Peter Cameron-Burnett, Logistics Officer Vicki Yates, Media Officer Ciaran Davis, and Expedition QuarterMaster Toby Vennard.
Foxtrot Delivery #3 – Orphanage in Casablanca
The team visited an orphanage that also cares for homeless/street children, and delivered much needed and appreciated supplies, including learning materials such as pens and colouring pencils, along with clothes, toys and sports equipment. The staff at the orphanage were delighted to receive us and very grateful for what we delivered.
⇑ After taking the train from Rabat down the Africa coats to the city of Casablanca, we arrive at the the outskirts of the city where the orphanage is located, and hop off the train.
⇑ Engaging a couple of small taxis, the drivers start to load our bags onto the roof rack. There are no luggage straps however, which causes us a slight amount of concern. As things turned out, the bags were indeed fine.
⇑ The point where something goes from being an unknown dot on a map to being a real bricks and mortar thing in front of you. A living place with its own history and people, and its own hopes and fears for the future. The office life in London seems very far away and surreal after only a couple of days of expedition life …
⇑ We meet the director of the institute. We’re in luck, the load that we have chosen based on the minimal information we could find online is just right for the people in his charge.
⇑ By the time we are finished, our taxis have disappeared – including the one we asked to wait for us. Whilst we are stood trying to hail a replacement, one of the staff of the orphanage offers to give us a lift into town. We gratefully accept. Peter C-B in this image is playing the role of the family dog as there is no room anywhere else. The vehicle has no air conditioning, and it’s 36 degrees outside, so it gets a little warm as we grind to a halt in city traffic.
⇑ The chap giving us a lift into town doesn’t quite know where the AirBnb that we have booked is located, because its a private address on a back street. Whilst stopped at the lights, he asks a taxi driver next to us. The driver’s reply is quite complex, and when the lights turn green, both his car and ours drive in slow formation down the boulevard as they continue chatting, whilst from behind us comes a symphony of impatience scored for car horn and angry gesticulation.
⇑ The best laid plans of mice and men aft gang aglay, as Robbie Burns observed, and in this instance we learn that the AirBnB that we have booked doesn’t actually exist. And so we wander the streets to find somewhere with WiFi (pronounced wee-fee by the locals) to allow us to search for a place to stay for the night.
⇑ You can’t visit Casablanca without having a quick look around! As well as Rick’s bar, which is essentially a 2 storey nightclub, we take a wander though the old part of town on our way back to the station, and a plane home from Rabat a few hours hence. It’s a very hot day, and the sea breeze blowing through the canyons of containers at the busy modern port can’t penetrate the maze of alleys and tiny squares.
Our expedition done, it’s time to head home. We’ve done what we came here to do, and there are now hundreds of children who have something to write with, play with wear and cuddle than when we arrived.
And as they say in French, it’s not goodbye, but au revoir!
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
DeliverAid was founded in January 2017 to provide sustainable and direct assistance to children who are at risk or face disadvantage in refuges, orphanages, and camps internationally. The team’s efforts are powered by a sponsorship syndicate of philanthropic businesses. The DeliverAid team itself consists of a small core of media and project professionals who are looking to do something worthwhile, who are ably aided by volunteers both in the UK and overseas. Wherever possible, the team purchases supplies from UK charities so that they also substantial benefit from the expeditions. As well as delivering supplies, the team also provides computer equipment and training as part of their Bootstrap Programme to allow the children to develop skills that will not only assist themselves in building a better life, but which will also create employment and opportunity within their community.
For Further Information
Contact Vicki Yates (OutReach Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org