Article 25 in Morocco

During the week of 14-21st April, Robin Cross, Jessica Toale and Craig Goldblatt undertook Article 25’s first trip to Morocco. The trip was aimed at scoping new projects and building relationships with potential project partners.

Both of the potential projects related to health. Morocco is not usually a country that Article 25 would work in, but despite a level of economic development, operational and delivery failings within the health service mean that some of the poorest in the country are unable to access an adequate level of health provision.

Robin visited Operation Smile’s operations in Casablanca and one of their missions in Tangiers. Operational Smile is an international organisation that helps treat facial deformities including cleft lip and palate. They would like to build a new facility in Oudja in the east of the country on the border with Algeria to reach rural populations in the area who cannot afford to travel to Casablanca. Operation Smile’s work is an exemplar of international cooperation and a targeted intervention, a cleft lip operation can take as little as 20 minutes, that has the ability to completely transform a person’s life. The centre in Oudja would provide a consultation service for surgery and other support services such as dentistry, orthodontics and counselling.

Jessica and Craig went to visit a rural community in the High Atlas Mountains who have identified a need for a health clinic. She was joined by representatives from the pharmaceutical company Shire to undertake a feasibility study for the clinic. The village, Tighza, is located 7km on unpaved roads from the nearest clinic which means that many of the community members do not travel when they have a health problem. Many of the buildings in the village are constructed from a combination of stone and rammed earth which is traditional in the region, and the proposed site for the clinic is located adjacent to the existing school building. Working with the community, the team identified a number of opportunities within the village to improve health education and opportunity.

This project also acted as a pilot programme for a new innovative way of bringing corporate donors learning and development opportunities through our projects. If you would like to know more about the Article 25 Academy or either of these projects please email Jessica-toale@article-25.org

We would like thank our hosts for the week Fouzia Mahmoudi from Operation Smile, Carolyn and Mohammed from Kasbah Oliver and Mohammed Nour from Inside Morocco.