IN MARCH AND JUNE 20 STUDENTS ACCOMPANIED BY STAFF WENT TO SEFROU IN MOROCCO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COVENTRY UNIVERSITY CHANGING LIVES PROGRAMME. I CAUGHT UP WITH CHARLOTTE (STAFF MEMBER FROM CENTRAL CAREERS) TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT IT:
Briefly state where you went and the aim of the trip:
I visited Sefrou (Morocco) as part of the CU Changing Lives Programme in May this year.The aim of the trip was to help out in the local community by doing a variety of volunteer work over the course of the 12 days we were there.
Which activities were you involved in?
We took part in a wide range of things from visiting and arranging activities with the elderly home and the widows association, to having conversations with African Migrants, Artisans, and women in Sefrou about various issues affecting the area.
We also had the chance to harness our creative side, by making origami for the children’s department in Sefrou Hospital, organising an exhibition about the history of Sefrou for the locals, and creating a communal area in the square by painting/gardening/decorating so they had somewhere they could socialise.
What were the highlights/best moments of your trip?
One of my highlights was spending time with the local children in Sefrou, as you could see on their faces it meant a great deal to them. We organised a Face Painting event in the town – which turned out to be very popular! Sefrou isn’t used to having many tourists, so for the younger children it was a very exciting time for them.
Another highlight was when we went hiking into the Berber Village (collecting trash along the way) and helped out with a local family on a farm whilst being able to spend the night in the middle of the mountains.
Would you recommend international travel?
Definitely. Travelling is an exciting opportunity and gives you a chance to see different parts of the world and learn about other cultures. It is great for gaining lifelong skills such as communication and teamwork, but it is also good for personal development and character building. Not only that, but it looks fantastic on a CV as it shows you have had invaluable experience and aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone!