Morocco is situated in north-east Africa and borders the Atlantic Ocean to its west, the Mediterranean Sea to its north, Algeria to its east, the disputed territory of the Western Sahara to its south and Mauritania to its south-east. It gained its independence from France in 1956 and was ruled for 38 years by Hassan II (after the death of his father Sultan Mohammed in 1961) who tolerated little descent and oversaw widespread human rights abuses. He was succeed in 1999 by his son King Mohammed VI who adopted a more liberal tone, and spurred by the waves of protests across the Arab world in 2010, he adopted a new constitution vesting more powers in the prime minister and parliament.
Today Morocco is in 130th place out of 187 countries and territories in 2011 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country with a life expectancy of some 72.2yrs. Around 19% of the total population live in poverty and the levels of poverty increase for those who live further away from urban areas. To escape this poverty many children flock to the towns and cities believing the streets are paved with the proverbial gold. As such, there are tens of thousands of street children in Morocco with an estimated seven thousand in Casablanca alone. One 13 year old described his life: “I take drugs to forget about my situation and to prevent myself from committing a crime. I've been caught by the police many times for hanging around here. My mom is a dirty p********e. So, I escaped from home not to see men coming and going out of the house”. Illegitimate pregnancy if frowned upon in Morocco so may pregnant women have children in secret then abandon the child. Child sponsor programs in Morocco work with orphaned and abandoned children, providing children from poorer families with the necessary equipment to attend school and working to address child labour concerns in a country where 8% of the child population aged between 5-14yrs are forced to work instead of attending education to support their families.
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Sponsor an orphan in Oujda, Morocco and help nurture and educate a child in need of care.
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