Morocco in the summer is a very relaxing time. The high temperatures close down most activities and the people settle down for a couple months of long, sweaty days and clear starry nights filled with parties of tea, drums, and dancing; a perfect time for a needs assessment trip with Project CURE. Nine days took me and the representatives from Project CURE, Jason Corely, through the provinces of Tata, Tiznit, and Boulmane. We were able to see and assess clinics and meet with both provincial and national officials from the Ministry of Health. Thank you so much; this needs assessment could not have been possible without your continuous support and encouragement. I am happy to report that the needs assessment was very successful and we are now moving toward the second phase of the project; raising the money to ship our medical supplies to Morocco.

The Peace Corps and Ministry of Health in Morocco are working together to improve healthcare in Morocco. I would like to call your attention to a series of Ministry of Health initiatives aimed at increasing the quality of healthcare in rural Morocco. By the year 2012 the Ministry of Health would like to have 50% of women receive at least one prenatal visit during their pregnancy, 80% of women to be attended by health professional when giving birth, and 90% of women to have at least one postnatal visit. This project, which has been facilitated by Peace Corps Volunteers, is in conjunction with these Ministry of Health initiatives. This donation from Project CURE will be specifically addressing the issues of maternal and child care as well as healthcare for the most remote populations.

I would like to thank you again for all your support thus far. Without your help this project would not be happening. Now that the project to deliver donation medical supplies from Project CURE to rural Morocco has begun, we have approximately 20,000 dollars per container to raise from corporate and non-profit organizations to cover the transportation of the supplies. I will not be soliciting help from individuals, although any and all donations are welcome. I will be looking for assistance from organizations; Rotary Clubs, Soroptimist groups, businesses and any other international humanitarian trust organizations that may be able to assist.

So now, I am not asking for donations, I am looking for ideas, contacts, and leads in organizations that I can pursue to complete this project to bring essential medical supplies to rural Morocco. This plea could be compared to a group brainstorming session. The people of Morocco need medical supplies, Project CURE has them, we need to complete the deal and get them there. So please pass on any and all information that you think may help me complete this humanitarian mission. I appreciate your continued support and I look forward to hearing from you.

Happy in Morocco
Barakallah u fik-
Blessings of God be Upon You

Whitney Anderson
Morocco, perched on the north western corner of Africa, is a truly fascinating country transitioning from a French colonial territory to an influential, modern state. As is the case in many areas of the developing world, the process of development has allowed the influx of aide and wealth to be unequally distributed within in the country. Cities like Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech are affluent and modern, while the rural areas often lack even the most basic facilities like paved roads, running water, electricity, and bathrooms. Healthcare in these rural areas is limited, and clinics serving thousands of residents are left poorly equipped.

Today we have a unique opportunity. Together, we can increase the capacity of these rural Moroccan clinics by funding a medical assessment and shipment of a Project C.U.R.E. Cargo Container packed full of 400,000 dollars worth of donated medical equipment and supplies. The medical assessment will pinpoint the exact supplies to address the individual needs of various regions, and allow Project C.U.R.E. to custom pack the cargo container to fit Morocco. Through the facilitation of Peace Corps Volunteers who live in the rural communities and work in association with the rural clinics, the donated medical equipment will be placed in locations where they can benefit the people the most.

Here are locations that will benefit from this collaborative effort.

The town of Aguerd is a rural community settled in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The clinic in the central village serves over 7,000 Berber people spread out in villages that span 30 kilometers. While the doctor, two nurses and midwife who staff the clinic are attentive to their patients, the clinic still lacks essential medical equipment. In this particular community of Berbers diabetes, hypertension, and lack of pre-natal care are prominent health issues. To address these specific needs, a Peace Corps Volunteer and the staff of the local clinic are requesting an ultrasound machine, blood sugar analysis equipment, and other basic medical supplies in this shipment from Project C.U.R.E.
Here is a story from the community of Aguerd, which will benefit from this collaborative effort.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I am constantly learning, constantly observing, constantly piecing together the inter-workings of a culture so different from my own. One of the things I noticed long ago was that pregnancy for women, is not the jolly, exciting time it is in the US. No baby showers or name brainstorming sessions. I received confussed looks when I asked pregnant friends of mine questions like 'Do you want a girl or a boy?' or 'Do you have any names picked out?' Recently, I found out why.

In the US, the vast majority of pregnancies end up in healthy, fat babies. Whatever health problems that come up are resolved with expediency by a competent physician. However, this is not the case in rural Morocco. Only the rare, complication free pregnancies have the possibility of ending with fat, healthy babies. Pregnancy remains one of the most dangerous adventures a woman can embark on, and a fat, healthy baby is a long way short of guaranteed. I sat next to a good friend of mine recently, the day after she had lost her baby, and watched the tears glisten in the corner of her eyes as her husband repeated for the hundredth time, 'What can you do, it is what it is.' This project is a long way from curing all the ills of the Moroccan health care system, but it is something we can do; and it will help women like my friend, to complete long, healthy and successful pregnancies.

It is estimated that every married woman living in Aguerd has had at least one miscarriage. With access to an ultrasound machine and quality pre-natal care, the women of Aguerd could be fortunate enough to have long and healthy pregnancies.
This is your opportunity to improve the lives of countless people a continent away. When we work together for a common purpose we have the power to change lives. So work with us by donating toward the Project C.U.R.E. Cargo Container destined for Morocco.

Together we can deliver essential medical supplies and change our friends’ lives; after all, the Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco believe, we are all friends.