Student association Al Nashat raises funds for Moroccan earthquake victims

Student association Al Nashat has launched a fundraising campaign in collaboration with the Moroccan-owned Mansouri Gym in Groningen to help victims of last week’s earthquake in Morocco.

‘Activism is a way for us to cope with this event, with the feeling of helplessness because we can’t be there ourselves’, says chairperson Ramaz Mahmudi. 

Al Nashat, which means ‘activism’ in Arabic, was just established this year and focuses on issues in the Middle East and North Africa. They are encouraging people to donate through Tikkie or to Islamic Relief, a humanitarian agency currently aiding victims in Morocco. 

Food and medicine

Tikkie donations will go to Mansouri Gym volunteers who will drive to villages around Marrakech and Agadir, the most badly affected areas, to distribute provisions and purchase further necessities such as food and medicine. They also hope to focus on reducing children’s acute stress by providing distraction through sports and activities. The team will leave at the end of this week and the municipality of Groningen will cover the costs of the whole trip.

‘You don’t realise how valuable the European currency is. One hundred euros means one thousand Moroccan dirhams. You can buy groceries for a whole month with that money’, says Laila Badran, chairperson of Al Nashat’s charity committee. ‘Fifty cents can get you bread and milk to offer someone a meal. One hundred euros will go as far as to feed a family of four members for about three to four weeks’, adds Yasmine Louche, a fourth-year law student who hails from the Rabat region of Morocco. ‘Every small bit helps a lot.’

Community

Yasmine also realises the importance of community in these times of hardship. ‘In Morocco, everyone is family. Community is everything, and now more than ever, we are one big first-aid community, working on the ground, but also from afar, to help as many people as possible.’

Despite what she’s doing to raise funds and  awareness, she still feels helpless, since she can’t physically be there to aid the victims. ‘I have friends who flew back from Canada just to give a helping hand. If there’s one bright side to this tragic event, it’s how it brought people together for a greater cause.’

Personalised emails

Moroccan students seem pleased with the response of the UG, which sent personalised emails offering help and support alternatives for people in need. The UG also raised awareness about the issue among students, while directing them to donate to initiatives like the Red Cross.

Yasmine expected a bit more than just an email though: ‘It would have been nice if the university took the matter a step further, by offering space to gather donations, for example.’

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