By: Blonde One

Just over 50 miles from the Algerian border in Morocco lies a small town which is of no great interest to visitors. Nothing very significant happens here aside from the usual bartering by locals in the souks and the normal hustle and bustle created by tradesmen and farmers buying and selling. Goulmima occupies a position in one of the oases of the Sahara Desert. It is hot, dry and dusty!

Our team arrived at the Women’s Centre and Pre-School with enthusiasm and excitement as we awaited our instructions. We worked with local tradesmen and artists to build, dig, scrape, cement, plaster, sand, paint, plumb, cook and clean. We bought local materials and took instructions from Centre staff to repair, renew and renovate their Centre. Between us, we plumbed in a European toilet, built an irrigation trench, painted a mural and designed a mural for the local artist to paint, repaired and made new the walls and ceilings, and generally smartened up the rooms according to the centre staff instructions. The end result after only 5 days was incredible. What had started as a rundown, neglected shell of a building was now a smart hub for the local women to come and learn with their young children. We all surprised ourselves with newly learned skills as we were pushed right out of our comfort zones. Working in temperatures up to 50+° was no barrier when you add Devon determination and Southern stamina to the mix!

The party that was thrown for our departure I think tells us that they were happy with the results.