What was meant to be a donation of two bags turned into packages of food products that will benefit at least 30 families.
Rabat – While stranded tourists and students around the world live in fear and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis, a group of foreign students in Rabat managed to look beyond the lockdown trauma and donate food packages to help Moroccans in need.
The International Campus in Rabat hosts students from many nationalities and backgrounds. Some managed to catch the last planes before Morocco’s decision to postpone international flights, while others remained and are now sharing Morocco’s lockdown experience.
The Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI) is the entity supporting foreign students in terms of scholarships and other affairs. AMCI has been present for international students during the special circumstances of COVID-19, providing them with food products every 15 days.
After several visits by AMCI, students realized that they are receiving more than they can consume. Their rooms started to resemble grocery stores with bags of rice, dairy products, juices, and more.
It all began in the female ward of the campus, when Vietnamese economy and finance student Cam Hoa learned about the difficult situation of so many Moroccan families who are struggling to support themselves due to the lockdown.
The state of health emergency in Morocco suspended several economic activities, particularly in the tourism and informal sectors.
“Synapses fired and I had the idea of contacting my Moroccan friends for help, telling them about my room stuffed with food that will double in a few days and asking them if they know any charity organization that might take care of it,” Hoa told Morocco World News.
Hoa, who has far spent four years in Morocco, said the idea of doing charity work crossed her mind several times as she saw the contrast of poor and rich families in the capital city.
The 24-year-old student could not imagine keeping extra food in her room while others live by “bread and olive oil.” She found a Moroccan organization in the city of Temara, a suburb of Rabat, and set an appointment for them to come pick up the food.
Hoa contacted Enamaa Organization for Development and Communication, an NGO that reaches families in remote areas to provide them with in-kind donations, medical assistance, and more.
The NGO appreciated and approved the idea, which falls within their framework of assistance during the pandemic, given the number of poor families affected by the lockdown.
Hoa did not stop there. She went on to inform all her friends on campus, who quickly took to the idea. This enlarged the circle of donors to include 25 other women from Vietnam, Laos, Saint Lucia, and Gambia.
What was meant to be a donation of two bags turned into 30 bags of food products that are likely to benefit 30 families in need.
According to the head of Ennama, Ayoub El Grini, the donations will benefit families whose breadwinners have special needs, lost their job, or are deceased.
Hoa’s initiative not only multiplied donations in Rabat, it prompted other students to transmit the same message to friends in other Moroccan cities.
The Vietnamese philanthropist told MWN that she has plans to find other donors when Morocco decides to extend the lockdown.
This generous move reflects the common values of solidarity that do not acknowledge political borders or nationalities. This is only one of a large set of initiatives that comprise a nationwide effort to fight the negative repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis.