A little oasis in the desert
Volunteer in Morocco – We are a Tuareg-Berber family, from the southeast of Morocco. We used to live as nomads in the Sahara before and travel from place to place.
After many years of living a nomadic life in the Sahara desert, our family settled down in a village called Tagounite. While my parents now live in a house in Tagounite, I decided to move to the small village Bani Hayoune, 7,5 kilometres further away, to live and work in an old house that belongs to my mother’s family.
Our idea is to share our old traditions, a place to sleep and a unique experience in an oasis next to the desert with you, in exchange for the help of people from all over the world. We are interested in when different cultures meet, and how we can exchange our ideas and learn from each other.
The place carries many memories and the history of our ancestors. As a child, I and my family still moved around like nomads, but we would sometimes visit my grandparents in this house, who already stopped at this place to start building their house.
What type of host are you?
What are you looking for help with?
- Animal keeping
- Charity Work/Fundraising
- Teaching/Language Exchange
Volunteer exchange – We are:
- recovering and rebuilding a house that has belonged for many years to our family, using mostly natural materials;
- building some new rooms in the house, for which we use mud bricks made of sand, water and hay.
- working in our garden. We need to plant new palm trees and we want to grow our own organic vegetables and fruit.
Our goal is to become as self-sustainable as possible! There is also help needed with the installation of the internet.
In case you have knowledge about fundraising and charity work, we would also be very happy to hear all about it!
How many volunteers could you host?
More than two
When would you need volunteers?
For at least the next 5 months, possibly longer. Note: during August we will be closed
How many hours of help per day?
4-5 hours of help per day
How many days of help per week?
5 days per week – 2 days off
Note about the volunteer work and other expectations
My father comes to the house every day with his donkey, to work in the gardens and to help with the work that is needed for the house, and sometimes my brother comes to help.
Every day we will do different work: often rebuilding, recovering walls, sometimes in the gardens planting plants, taking care of the animals, cooking or making bricks. You can choose the work that you would like to do, and everyone does what he can or wishes to do.
Please, don’t worry about the need for any special skills. We will be happy to show you what to do and we will be thankful for any help you can do.
Are accommodation and food included?
We ask for a daily/weekly fee for the food.
We charge 5 € a day per person to cover the costs of the food and water since we don’t have the possibility to pay for the volunteer’s food etc.
This is the only fee we ask for. Of course, for that price, we offer you three rich meals per day, with healthy and good ingredients.
What type of accommodation can you provide?
- Dormitory/shared rooms
- Private room for a couple
Diet – nutrition information
We will cook healthy, Moroccan dishes with meat, vegetarian AND vegan. All depend on the volunteers’ preferences.
VISA – could you provide Visa support/info/invitation letters?
No, we cannot help with Visas but we can offer assistance
It is our big pleasure to have you as a part of our project and we will be happy to have you in our family house. In the work, we will show you our old and traditional ways to build rooms with a natural and simple way. Of course, it will also be amazing to teach you how to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes and some Arabic if you are interested.
What to do in your free time
Besides all the work there is needed, there will be a lot of time and space to come to rest.
This little oasis in the desert is a perfect spot for relaxing and escaping from all the rush of your daily life. Every day we enjoy the warm sun and every night you will find yourself under the brightest stars you’ve probably ever seen!
You can enjoy a rest or card game under the palm trees, and meet our donkey, pigeons and a little cat.
We will be very happy to meet you!
We are located next to the big Sahara desert and next to the Daraa river. The area where we will work is filled with date palms and small farmers’ land.
The village, Bani Hayoune, is one of the oldest Jewish villages in Daraa Valley, and it was discovered around 2500 b.C. This place was used a lot by the people who lived here, for making a lot of traditional handwork and for trading goods.
In summer, the weather is dry and hot. Make sure to bring sunscreen and something to cover your head.
How to get to your site
The best airports to fly to are Zagora, Ouarzazate, Marrakech or Agadir. Zagora and Ouarzazate are the most nearby but probably also have more expensive flights. Flights into Marrakech or Agadir are often cheap. There is a direct bus from all the above-named cities to Tagounite. In Tagounite I will wait for you at the bus station.
There are many departure times of the busses, sometimes the times will change, and we can always help you with the time schedules
Marrakech to Tagounite by the CTM bus (fixed bus time, departs every day):
leaves at 11 am, and arrives around 8 pm in the evening.
The night bus from Agadir to Tagounite, Bismillah Assalama bus (fixed bus time, departs every day):
leaves at 9 pm, and arrives around 6 am in the morning.
There are also many shared taxis (grand taxis) you can take at any time. Those will cost you a little bit more.
Is there internet access?
Yes, but not very strong.
“Paying guests” Option. Could you accommodate “solidarity” tourists?
Yes, we can accommodate eco/responsible tourists & paying guests
Click here for other opportunities in the desert.
See more volunteering projects in Morocco