Saturday, November 28, 2015

El Baraka Angels - Making a Difference

Moroccans are renowned for their generosity of spirit and nothing exemplifies it more than an organisation called El Baraka Angels

Since its creation in 2003 El Baraka Angels has provided assistance to more than 8000 families with seven food distribution caravans, two medical caravans , school renovations, circumcision campaigns, summer camps and programmes of cultural and artistic activities.

This year is the third consecutive year, El Baraka Angels have organise special winter caravans to support rural populations living in isolated mountain areas. This year they have broadened its reach to include the Province of Azilal following an early and unseasonal plunge in temperatures.

This week twenty-five members El Baraka Angels began their eighth food distribution caravan in the mountainous villages of the Province of Azilal, with a load of almost 40 tons of gifts and winter necessities.

The inhabitants of the rural town of Zaouiat Ahensal,  one of the poorest areas and most isolated of the province, will welcome this caravan which will allow 750 families to receive packages to tide them over the extreme cold period until the milder weather returns.

The packages include 42 kg of basic food and non-perishables, blankets and warm clothing for adults and children.
"In towns in the rural areas, the mobilisation of civil society in times of extreme cold is essential. For us, besides being an important support for these families, these caravans allow us to study the field and identify new enclaves for our projects supporting education, school renovation, medical caravans and very soon also income generation, projects" - Selwa Zine, President of the El Baraka Angels Association.

In 2016 the association is preparing for a renovation project that will improve fifteen schools in mountainous rural areas. It has already completed six school renovations and another is underway in the rural commune of Dayet Aoua.

After completing the first trip this week, members and volunteers of El Baraka Angels will take a second caravan in less than a fortnight, this time towards the Ifrane Province for the benefit of another 750 other families located there that they have been assisting for the past three years. The association intends to conduct sustainable and lasting support actions for the populations in the hundreds of mountain villages that make up the province.

The High Atlas and Middle Atlas regions have been the scene of tragedies in the past caused by the extreme cold.  In 2006 reports described the death of over thirty people including eight children.  At the time the deaths angered local inhabitants who began a march to raise awareness of  the living conditions in these villages.  The following year there were reports of the deaths of thirty people including four women and twenty-six babies.

A child in Anfgou

In December 2012, social networks, national and international media focused on the death of an infant in Anfgou, a landlocked village in the Middle Atlas, where temperatures dropped to -16 Celsius.

Following the death in Anfgou there was a national reaction with in-kind donations valued at more than more 600 000 Dirhams (60,000 USD) collected and then sent to the region.

To support the actions of the El Baraka Association you can make a donation by cheque or bank transfer:
Account name: El Baraka Angels
Account Number: 007 810 24 0001055000000210
Swift Code International BCMAMAMC
Agency Attijari Wafabank, Avenu de France, Rabat

"Death will always have to keep you company, ease your suffering by collecting the souls exhausted by time and winds of winter..." -  Hassan Oumada

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