Last weekend, Centre Afaq planed a camping trip to Afensou, a nearby village in Taroudannt region, with eight older boys who attend our soutien scolaire â our homework support sessions. They all got away for a fun 2-day trip into scenic Mentaga Valley. They spent the night in a lovely riad and enjoyed the pool, as the weather was quite good! They also ventured into the heart of the forest through a gorge and oasis gardens and walked down the riverbed (Oued Afensou). The trip was funded from a donation from the Klevis Kola Foundation (MCT’s sister charity) Women’s Group. The group of boys, volunteers and Centre Afaq would like to give a warm thank you to them for such generosity.
One of the best ways of getting the boys involved with the outdoor activities is to have them involved from the start. Jacob Perry, our current international volunteer at Centre Afaq, took part in the adventure as part of his induction week to Taroudannt. He wrote about his experience during the trip – check out the report below!
“I got back last night from a weekend excursion with a group of the older boys here at the center. I didn’t understand the full scope of the purpose behind the trip before going, but it became pretty clear about a day into it. I was totally impressed with the social cohesion between the 8 boys who went, and there was never a moment of animosity or conflict that I witnessed. We went to a riad in a village in the mountains, and the scenery was gorgeous. The boys took full advantage and their surroundings and seemed to have a blast.
On Saturday we went for a walk following the riverbed until we came to a spot where the boys sat down and starting singing songs and playing games (throwing rocks against each other, like all boys do ; ). On the way back we played another game Noel (another international volunteer) suggested that had the kids work together to help each other walk across a human ladder. We got misdirected on the way back and had to regroup, discuss where to go, and find the path back to the riad. The kids handled it like pros. They never got scared, ditched each other, or argued about which plan of action to take. Saturday night we played and didn’t have any difficulties with the boys. They were all engaged and participating positively.
Sunday was spent mostly in and out of the pool, as the boys seemed to be unable to get enough of the water. Just like all the other games we played, the boys had lots of tricks to play on each other in and around the pool (ambushing individuals and tossing them in as a group, etc.). One of the things that most impressed me was the dedication, responsibility and willingness of the boys to prepare meals and clean up afterwards. They shared in this task for each meal, never complained (that I heard), and were more than happy to serve us adults and then clean up afterward. Noel and I said to each other a million times that young ‘at-risk’ boys would NEVER be such responsible gentlemen where we’re from.
So the trip with the boys was a major success, in my opinion. I really hope the girls get a similar opportunity now, as they would surely enjoy the same kind of get-away.”