Bring Immediate Relief to Survivors of the Earthquake in Morocco
Yussef is crowding with 18 Families in just a handful of tents
On September 8th, mid-morning, a powerful earthquake suddenly turned Yussef's peaceful rural life with his wife and two small children in Idni, Morocco upside down. Within minutes, all of the 18 homes in this tiny mountain community were turned to rubble.
For the first three days, all of the roads were blocked by debris, and they were cut off from aid. On the fourth day, the government delivered four tents to share with all of the families, totaling about 70 people. The women and children crowded into two of the tents, and men in the other two.
A few days later another NGO brought two tarps and some sticks to construct a rough shelter. A couple days after that, another NGO arrived with three more very flimsy summer tents, that are not waterproof and unable to withstand winter mountain storms and winds. But they were better than nothing, as the crowded conditions were not only undignified but also unhygienic and inhumane for more than a few days.
Yussef told the AMURT Team that other organisations arrived with doctors and food, but they kept asking for tents, and were told that there are no more tents available.
AMURT’s First 30 Tents Ready, More are Needed!
AMURT experienced rapid response team arrived in the first days after the earthquake. Already anticipating this situation AMURT immediately identified a local factory and made an order of 30 tents, to bring to families like Yussef.
The tents have to be particularly strong to provide safe shelter in the winter in the mountains. Each one costs about 400 GBP. However, there are many more families in Idni and other communities desperately needing tents. It will be months before new homes can reconstructed. In the meantime, you can provide Yussef's family with safe and dignified temporary shelter in a good quality steel frame tent.
Help Injured Children to Heal
In the meantime, a team of AMURT's five physiotherapist volunteers are treating injured patients in the villages.
AMURTEL's Melinda has also been able to immediately start providing support to the medical staff at the Muhammed 6th Hospital in Marrakesh, where the majority of the earthquake victims are being treated. She trained 110 doctors and nurses to respond not only to the physical needs of their patients, but also to give appropriate psychological support. In addition, she is providing the staff with moments of art therapy to "help the helpers" and support their own resiliency in the face of so much suffering and trauma.
110 Doctors Already Trained to Support Traumatized Patients
Melinda is planning to lead a therapeutic camp in the desert for injured children to help them process the trauma that can only happen with your support.
Your support will ensure not only safe shelter, but also psychological care for the traumas that have affected so many children and families like Yussef's.
The Berber communities AMURT/AMURTEL are supportingface unique struggles. They predominantly speak a local dialect, Amazigh, & very little Arabic or French. Before the earthquake they were already poor & marginalised, so in this situation, they have a harder time accessing aid. However, the communities also have very strong social bonds, and are coming together to support each other, to cook & eat together. Aziza, our translator, told us how in her douar, every night they sit together, tell traditional stories, and listen to each other. She and her husband Ibourk also received tents. Ibourk has a city job but chose to stay, telling his boss “my people need me more”.
The AMURT/AMURTEL teams have already done lots with your support but without more immediate help we may have to withdraw our team in the next weeks leaving families in a vulnerable state. Please share this urgent plea with your friends and family. Together we can ensure that hope endures, and these families receive the support they need.
First batch of tents delivered, more desperately needed!
AMURT's team in Morocco set up 30 tents, giving shelter to vulnerable families like Yussef’s in 10 small communities in the Atlas mountains called “douars”. It is such a relief for them to move out of makeshift tents with 3-4 other families squeezed tightly into the sturdy, more dignified tents you are providing.
While distributing tents, a local nurse named Aziza translated for Ismail, a sixty year old man who lost his brother, sister-in-law, and their 4 children. His niece survived, but today he found out that her arm had to be amputated after being trapped under the rubble for days.
It surprised us that he was speaking about it so openly, but Aziza then shared how she also was numb and in denial at first, and now finds herself suddenly crying for no reason, or remembering flashbacks. Everyone we talked to is feeling a deep need for mental health support, which is the next direction our team is planning to focus on.
/*all names of vulnerable people are changed to protect their identities/
Week 1 on the ground - what the AMURT/AMURTEL team have been up to
AMURT/AMURTEL has a very experienced team on the ground providing unique support, adapting to what people need. They have already completed an introduction seminar in emergency psychology to 110 doctors and nurses which was very well received as support to care givers has until now been neglected. They have done several assessments, taking treacherous roads into the mountain villages, to see what is needed and have made orders for quality tents which will withstand the fierce mountain weather over the winter.
In the immediate future they will focus on a recovery program for the children affected by the disaster, continue to support care givers with workshops and self-care protocols, procure and distribute the heavy-duty tents to families most in need and try and procure and distribute other small items highly in demand such as female hygiene kits, tiny solar power kits and water filters.