The centre of the APCIZ association in Zagora, our local partner, takes in 70 mentally or physically ill children living in the town of Zagora and the surrounding area.
One of the first needs is specialised transport to take the children from their homes to the centre, and also to the Cherif Alaoui school in the town of Zagora, which has an integration class for disabled children.
We have therefore decided, in agreement with our partner, to provide financial assistance to fund this specialised transport throughout the year.
We have already been able to finance this project for the months of September 2023 to April 2024, thanks in particular to the money raised in a school in Belgium, but also from the profits made during our event in Morocco, the TZT MERZOUGA, a 200km Ultra Trail in 5 stages in the Merzouga desert.
Our aim is to make an annual financial contribution towards this specialised transport.
The past years gave us the opportunity to visit the Boutyouss region, which is located some fifty kilometers south of Zagora. The several trips to the region were meant to meet the kids, the teacher, the parents, but also the local authorities to establish a dialogue and an exchange.
Scholarship in the Boutyouss school is one of the main problems that came up during these exchanges.
We have been able to support different projects for the region of Boutyouss, unfortunately because of the current situation that does not allow us to raise enough funds for all our projects, we had to make choices and decided to focus on projects concerning the APCIZ Center.
The first association project we set up was to help the children at Boutyouss school. We provided school and educational equipment, games, books and sports equipment.
At the request of the teacher, we contacted a local carpenter to repair and/or replace the used benches in class. The worn-out windows have been replaced and improved as well: we were able to add louvres in order to keep the windows open while staying in the shadow.
The school has built a small patio, where the children could have lunch in the shadow. We all decided to ask the same local carpenter to build benches and tables to be placed in the patio.
In march 2020, when the TZTM was cancelled because of Covid-19, we decided to go to Zagora and the region of Boutyouss to continue our associative projects.
Among the projects we had set up, we had decided to take with us bikes generously offered by Hel Van Kasterlee and Fietsen Van de Water.
We distributed them to the different children of the village of Boutyouss in order to facilitate the children's travel between their home (sometimes very far away) and the school of Boutyouss. After playing with the kids, the children helped us put together all the bikes. For each family one bicycle was provided.
Health care is a difficulty in the Boutyouss region because of scarce resources and long distances. During our visit to the Boutyouss school in march 2020, we benefited from having our team of doctors on site to examine all the children of the Boutyouss school
In this southern region of Morocco, at the border of the Sahara, the most cultivated fruit is the watermelon. This fruit is ideal for local farmers, as it does not need much care, nor material to grow. What it does need, however, is water, and this resource is becoming increasingly scarce in this region.
During talks with the Boutyouss locals we got to learn about their agriculture and got to discuss the solution to the water consumption: palm trees.
Why palm trees ?
There are different varieties of palm trees in Morocco and some of them produce dates, which are highly valued fruits all over the world. Palm trees do not need much water to grow and are able to flourish in arid climates, like the desert. They might replace the watermelon culture and enable farmers to sell their dates. On the long term, this could solve part of the water problem.
This project is to be seen on the long term, as palm trees only start producing fruit after some years, buying these trees is also relatively expensive.
In the last few years, we have been able to help the local population to acquire a hundred palm trees, which will allow them to harvest dates and sell them in a few years.