Volunteer on the Morocco Nomad Project
- Placement locations: Sahara desert
- Role: Caring for livestock, building, cooking, and helping to source water
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host family
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Volunteer on the Nomad Project in Morocco and live with a family whose way of life has barely changed in thousands of years! Whether you are an adventurous student volunteer or a career breaker wanting to get away from it all and experience a very different culture, the nomadic families of the Moroccan Sahara will be ready to welcome you.
The Nomad Project is located near the city of Guelmim, known as the Gate of the Sahara, as it marks the start of the Moroccan desert. Guelmim is a two hour drive from Agadir and 640 kilometers (400 miles) south of Rabat, where our office in Morocco is located.
After a night’s rest in nearby Fask (30 minutes’ drive from Guelmin) you will travel for about an hour to arrive at your desert host family. These traveling tribes herd camels and goats across the dunes to search out the most plentiful sources of water.
Many tourists travel to surrounding towns like Taourirt, Taidalt, and Abayno, known for its hot sulphur springs. They may have a meal and spend the night in a bivouac tent or an auberge. However, as a volunteer living and working with the local people you can truly experience the lifestyle of this ancient civilization.
Volunteering on the Nomad Project in Morocco
As a volunteer you will be involved in a wide range of work and activities during your stay. These may include:
- Caring for and milking the livestock
- Helping to locate underground water sources and oases
- Building the nomadic homes
- Cooking bread and traditional meals in ovens under the sand
- Mastering local Saharan handicrafts
- Learning the local language and the songs of nomadic folklore
In sharing your life with a nomadic Moroccan family you may also wish to teach them the language, games, music, sport, and arts of your homeland.
This project runs throughout the year. However, please note that during the summer months of June, July, and August temperatures can be as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
Nomad Project volunteers should arrange their own transport as far as Guelmim, where our local Nomad Project Coordinator will meet you. If you are traveling via Rabat or Casablanca, a member of staff can meet you there to assist you with getting your onward bus or flight to Guelmim if needed.
Some volunteers opt to do a Tamazight Language Project in the capital of Rabat for two or four weeks before embarking on their desert adventure.
One of my best memories is the sunrise over the desert, viewed from atop a rocky outcrop. Far below me swirled the morning fog, while on the horizon the first rays of sunlight cut across the seared desert landscape. Civilization was a distant memory. The only sound was me gasping for breath after the tough ascent. Anyone needing some time out should undertake the Nomad project; switch off your cell phone, leave your computer at home and head out to the desert. Read more...
This project is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.