“Sefrou . . . . The Garden of Morocco”

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Sefrou is known to be the “The Garden of Morocco” but walking around the city for weeks made me think “is this still exists?” seeing not garden but garbage around the city, specially how they pollute their beautiful river, it makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sefrou, maybe that is why I am here. I’m here with a purpose and that is to share my passion in arts by keeping their environment clean and green.

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For the special day in Sefrou I come together with Peace Corps crew (Carrie and Damon), Culture Vultures 2014 Gang and the Dar Al Shabab to “Pick up trash” Our main objective is to influence habits towards reusing, recycling and reducing attitude and to encourage proper waste disposal within the household and the local environment. It also aims to bring back the Garden of Morocco and will feed into the trash to art project for the youth of Sefrou at the Dar Al chabab, in the coming weeks.

CLeaning the river Agaye

CLeaning the river Agaye

September 13, 2014 assembly time is 9am; outside the swimming pool area, Carrie and Damon brought plenty of used plastics bags and gloves for the activity. We were only 11 when we started the trash pick up, namely Carrie, Damon, Fatima Sarah, Sonia, Cat, Ayano, Lucia, Lisa, Fatima, Anas and Me, but we were all amazed and overwhelmed when many passers-by asking for gloves to participate, even the café owner and his family was so happy giving a helping hand in cleaning the river. It was an awesome day in Sefrou.

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Walking around the city with pride. Congratulations to all who came.

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After 1.5hrs of picking up trash on the river, we gathered at the Dar Al Shabab to access what we have collected. Everyone is surprised when we have a total of 75 plastic bags full of garbage. Good jobs guys. I remember the big smile on everyone’s faces while walking tall around the city carrying a hand full of garbage from the river going to Dar Al Shabab. Everyone is proud of their contribution that day.

We segregate the waste materials found on the river, and this is what we found out:

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Hopefully with this result we can take the problem to the government and the locals to help them to realize that there is no one to blame but ourselves that we have to make solution to our own problem. We should all ACT NOW.
The next step is to clean the materials to be used for the up-cycling project workshop next week. Happy volunteers keep coming during the day at Dar Al Shabab. Sonia and Fatima stayed with us the whole day cleaning the materials for the Trash to Art workshop and for the special project by Sonia, I’m looking forward to see her  innovative project using plastic bags.

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It has been a successful pick-up trash day for Moroccans, Peace Corps Volunteers and artists from different continents (Culture Vultures). Looking forward in seeing everyone Sunday September 21st for the Trash to Art workshop At Idriss I Dar Chabab, Sefrou. Maraming Salamat! (Shukran)

By Wilhelmina Garcia Interior designer and social entrepreneur. Philippines.

For more on artist residencies with Culture Vultures see http://culturevulturesfez.org/air-s/

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