SOS Children in Morocco
Despite recent developments, many children in Morocco still face day-to-day hardships. Significant inequality exists between those living in towns and rural areas and high poverty and illiteracy are still recorded in rural areas. Since the 1980s we have been helping the vulnerable children of Morocco live a better life.
With SOS Children, you can help vulnerable children in Morocco by sponsoring a child:Sponsor a child in Morocco
In rural Morocco, poverty remains a big challenge
Compared to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Morocco’s poverty levels are low, yet still affect a large percentage of the population. Nearly half the population survive on less than $2 a day. The gap between rural and urban areas is continuing to widen, leaving those in rural areas without easy access to basic needs such as clean water, sanitation and healthcare. Human rights is still an issue in Morocco, although recent constitutional reforms are helping to improve the situation.
Child labour, sexual abuse and a childhood on the streets
- Child labour is an issue in Morocco. Thousands of Moroccan children are engaged in child labour. Some of the work children can be made to do is dangerous and can impair mental and physical development.
- Girls can be physically and sexually abused and child prostitution has been reported in some regions. Children who have to work typically do not get the education they need, meaning their future prospects are likely to be poor.
- In Morocco’s towns and cities, the number of street children is thought to be increasing. UNICEF states that over 6,000 children were abandoned at birth in 2008. Approximately 650,000 children have been orphaned and grow up without the care of their parents.
Our charity work in Morocco
Aït Ourir, Marrakesh
We began working in Morocco in 1985 when the first SOS Children's Village in Morocco was established at Aït Ourir, about 40 km from Marrakesh at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Built in traditional Moroccan style, it has fourteen family houses. The nursery, as in all SOS Children's Villages, is also attended by children from the surrounding area. In Marrakesh itself, there are five SOS Youth
Homes that are home to the older children making the transition from family life to independence, under the guidance of a youth leader. A primary school was added in 1999 specialising in children with special learning needs.
Imzouren, Al Hoceima
We opened a second community at Imzouren in 1988, between the foothills of the Rif Mountains and the Mediterranean coast, about 20 km from Al Hoceima. The ten family houses are built in local traditional style and, like Ait-Ourir, the village has a nursery and a primary school (again, specialising in children with special needs).
Dar Bouazza, Casablanca
Morocco's third SOS Children's Village opened in 2000. SOS Children's Village Dar Bouazza is in a suburb of Casablanca, about 15 km south of the city centre, and was built on a site donated to SOS Children by the Moroccan royal family. The village has eleven family houses and a nursery and there is a separate youth house in the city centre. In 2001 an SOS Social Centre was built for handicapped young people, providing them with agricultural training and employment. Dar Bouazza also has a vocational training centre for SOS staff. A Family Strengthening Programme started operating in 2011, and can help up to 140 children.
A fourth SOS Children’s Village opened at El Jadida in 2006. There are 12 family apartments for orphaned and abandoned children.
A fifth SOS Children's Village in Agadir opened in 2008. It has 14 family apartments for up to 126 children, and it is located in the centre of Agadir.
Alongside these projects, we also run SOS Social Centres in Casablanca and Imouzzer Kandar, which together help over 1,000 children.
SOS Children in Morocco