Within 24 hours of the devastating earthquake that destroyed many villages in the surrounding Atlas Mountains of Marrakesh, Response Team Foundation volunteers dispatched and teamed up with other organizations on ground to help in the fields of data collecting, food distribution and bringing emotional support to the most remote villages, scouting as many areas as possible over hundreds of kilometers in order to bring immediate assistance.
Due to the magnitude and expanse of the disaster, the data collection proved vital in order to locate affected villages in order to map out routes for relief to arrive, and gather information on survivors and their needs.
The road through the Atlas mountains can be a rough one, not easily accessible, and was made even the more so with damaged or blocked roads which in some cases took several days to clear so that help could arrive.
Each day, more roads to the most distant areas in need of urgent help were covered, with about 35 villages scouted and an average of 10,000 villagers reached and set for delivery of daily hot meals and other aid by the end of the mission. Children were an important target group for psychological first aid as the majority are very traumatized and sleep deprived due to the memory of the quake taking place at night. Therapy focused on playing games and doing activities and art with the volunteers, which brought many smiles back on the faces of both children and concerned parents who were then able to focus on their own health and needs while their children were being cared for.
The Response Team Foundation will continue to be in touch with and support local volunteers and survivors as they carry out the monumental task of rebuilding communities over these next months.