15 IEP (Intermediate Education Programme) students from International School 33 in Gragignan (33 – France) had the opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip to Morocco from January 29th to February 3rd. This trip was an incredibly enriching experience for the whole group.

We started by visiting the city of Marrakech and then went to the American School of Marrakech, where we met other students and attended IEP and DP classes. This was an eye opening experience for our students, who were able to compare different educational paths with a perspective of higher education choices abroad such as universities. Students were able to see they were part of IB World Schools that have a similar environment to what they experience in their daily lives.

Our trip continued with a drive of more than an hour away from Marrakech, to the Atlas Kinder orphanage, the most anticipated moment of this adventure.

Atlas Kinder is an association that welcomes more than 200 children on a 15 hectare plot of land at the foot of the Altlas mountains.
During the 3 days our students helped in the following areas

  • In the kitchen to prepare meals for the children and staff.
  • In the houses, supporting the nannies who are responsible for 10 children. Our students integrated themselves into the lives of the little orphans, playing with them, hugging them, offering them a warm, comforting and caring presence.
  • School support in the classroom. We attended the first grade class and helped the fifth and sixth graders with their homework.
  • Tidying up the stock. The students had to sort the donated clothes, shoes and other materials by size and order.
  • Cleaning the laundry.
  • Painting and crafts.

Before their departure, a collection of money was planned in order to donate it to the association. With a part of these funds, they were able to offer a snack to the whole village and bought fruit trees which they planted themselves in the garden of the orphanage.

This overwhelming experience allowed our students to :

  • become aware of the living conditions of an orphan by confronting another reality of a different culture.
  • to develop a sense of mutual aid and solidarity. Every day, we had to put aside our tiredness to make ourselves totally available
  • to realise how lucky you are to have parents who look after you.
  • to take a step back from one’s daily worries by putting them into perspective.

We were all touched by the generosity and kindness of the children and the members of the orphanage staff.

This humanitarian school trip to Morocco was a great success and will remain engraved in the memory of our students. We are proud of their contribution to the Atlas Kinder orphanage and their actions will help them to become responsible and aware citizens of the world.