Exodus clients have been visiting the remote mountain village of Tijhza for over 20 years, and in 2002 we started to raise funds to improve conditions in the village. One of our first projects was to build a water pipe to the village to ensure running water for all. Since then, and working in conjunction with Baraka Community Partnerships, we have facilitated many projects in and around the village, including renovations to the local school, a brand new water tower and carried out ongoing repairs to water pipes. Our volunteer groups have dug miles of irrigation channels, painted dozens of village houses and helped fund and build a village hammam.
In November 2014 the village was hit by devastating storms that caused widespread damage. The hamman remained operational, and indeed proved vital in providing emergency shelter for some families whose homes were destroyed. Sadly many families were affected, their homes either destroyed or badly damaged, and some irrigation channels suffered damage too as well as the main water pipe.
We had a fantastic response from our clients, and in addition to monies donated by Exodus to provide emergency aid, a further £9,000 was raised which was used to kick start the rebuilding process. 21 of the poorest village families were identified by the local authorities for assistance and were each given £500 in material aid to enable them to rebuild their homes. Please read more here.
A Baraka volunteering trip went out in May 2015 and you can read leader Emily Chrystie’s account about what they found on their arrival here.
We are continuing to support Tijhza through Baraka, and we have some funds available to help with replacing the leaking water pipe. However, seven of the poorer homes still need to be plastered and painted, so funds are still required. If you would like to donate please click on the link here. and if you would like to join one of the Baraka volunteering trips to the village which will be departing in September 2016 please go to the Baraka website for more details.
Biggest achievement to date
Our biggest single achievement has to be the building of the Hammam in Tijhza. The importance of this building is more than just a beautifully tiled steam bathhouse where villagers can keep clean and socialise, but provides employment and income for the village so in the long term we hope the village will be able to fund its own projects.
The village is tucked away in the High Atlas Mountains, and only intrepid travellers manage to visit. Situated 4-5 hours south of Marrakech, this village is often forgotten by authorities when it comes to healthcare, education and infrastructure. In the 8 years our volunteer groups have been visiting Tijhza we have worked with the local community to achieve many other improvements (see below).
In recognition of all the work we have undertaken in Tijhza we were awarded the Responsible Travel Award for Social and Economic Development by the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism in 2012.
• Building of a water tower, including water pipes
• Provision of vital permanent village irrigation channels
• Infrastructure improvements and renovations for Tijhza village school including an ablutions block, school boundary wall, new windows and doors, and painting and renovating classrooms
• Tonnes of clothing, educational, sports and medical equipment donated to all 3 communities
• Medical and eye clinics for villagers including funds for major operations
• Dental care for children (providing toothbrushes and toothpaste)
• Tree planting
• Providing low energy bulbs for over 250 village houses
• Painting of over 20 poorer villagers’ houses
How You Can Help
VISIT – come on one of Exodus’ Morocco holidays and you should get an opportunity to visit at least one of our projects.
On the following trips you will be able to visit Tijhza and use the hammam thus contributing to vital funds for village projects. In addition we have two special departures this year in April and October which will be specifically aimed at helping Tijhza rebuild, see the Project work in Morocco with Baraka link below.
Atlas Panorama Walking Holiday
Highlights of Morocco Cultural Holiday
Marrakech & the Sahara Cultural Holiday
DONATIONS – You can send us any leftover Dirhams you may have, or donate online to help us raise funds for the schools. Any money you donate will be match funded by our charity partner Baraka Community Partnerships, essentially doubling your donation.
Speak to a Supporter
You can contact our Exodus Project Managers Simon Clifford or Baraka’s Andy McKee
Read more From our archive
Exodus' Kay Palmer writes about her visit to Tijhza village
Exodus client Richard Thornton explains how he Got Involved