Felsted's Rory Aitken, Victoria Barker and Emma Jones (Yr 13) took part in a Round Square Big Build international service project to Morocco in July, where alongside 50 other students from different Round Square schools across the world supported a remote village in the Atlas Mountains.
They worked extremely hard in punishing heat to build the first classroom in the village and over 300 concrete steps to help connect the village to the main road which they use to collect their weekly food supplies.
Their two week project also included some cultural visits to local markets, an Argon Oil company run by local women, a trek in the mountains and a day in Marrakech. Read their experiences below.
It was really hard work in the heat building the steps and classroom but incredibly rewarding to see it all finished. Our work will make a huge difference to their daily lives – making their weekly trips to the nearest town market a much easier and safer experience. The whole experience was incredible and one which will stay with me for a lifetime, particularly the friendships made across numerous cultures. The Berber villagers were extremely hospitable, welcoming us with mint tea at every opportunity and teaching us how to make a delicious tagine!
During the summer, I embarked on the hugely influential international service trip to Morocco. My experience during the trip was eye opening; it has made me have a completely different perspective on life and the memories I have made will cherish me forever. These memories wouldn’t have been made without the incredible kind and welcoming hospitality that we received from the people of Morocco and members of the Round Square team.
Everyone who looked after us made a different impact, whether that be from asking after us every day, smiling at us or encouraging us to keep going during the tough hours of hard labour. During my time in Morocco, it made me reflect and take on board the different lifestyle that people who live high up in the Atlas Mountains and I kept thinking on how I could make their lives easier. This is why completing the path and helping build the classrooms made much of a poignant experience - due to our hard work and collaborative skills we were able to provide a gateway between the village to the main road.
The people on the trip were also one of the highlights; I thoroughly enjoyed learning about their culture and different ethnic backgrounds. This service project has also given me much more of a global outlook on life. Overall, the trip has been one of the best trips I have been on and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else!