Students from the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Burnley and Preston campuses have travelled to an orphanage in Morocco. This is to work with and mentor disadvantaged children. Students visit to help the centre and support young people.

The eight first and second year students from the School of Education and Social Science are spending a week at the Agadir Orphanage Centre in Agadir. They are working with children on team activities and games designed to build confidence and relationships.  They are also working with the centre’s staff to improve the facilities and encouraging projects such as interior design so that the children have a welcoming and vibrant environment to live in. During their visit the UCLan students are organising fun days and fundraising events. This is to recruit new volunteers and they are setting up structured support programmes to retain them.

“A small effort from us has already made such a big change in just a few days.”

Speaking from the orphanage Ridwanah Gurjee, UCLan Senior Lecturer and Volunteer Co-ordinator, commented: “The Director of the Agadir Orphanage Centre, Hicham Eddbourh, has been extremely supportive and welcoming.  He believes this project will really help to improve the children’s aspirations for the future.  He has also commented on the passion and commitment shown by our UCLan Students after seeing great dedication to the children.

“The experience will significantly enhance the students’ learning and allow them to transfer new skills back into the communities they seek to serve, with a sustainable benefit to the community as a whole.”

Nadra Khan, a Foundation Degree Community Leadership student, added: “A small effort from us has already made such a big change in just a few days.”

The students will be able to continue their work when they return to Burnley through e-mentoring which will allow them to keep in touch with their mentees over the academic year.