Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

Students volunteer to support a recycling and art project in Morocco

Students from Cambridge Regional College are planning a trip to Morocco to get involved in art and recycling projects.

The students are teaming up with the charity Open Hands, which the college has supported for the last nine years.

It is the first time they have planned a specific art trip project, after being inspired by the charity’s founder, a talented Moroccan artist, who is passionate about recycling.

Rachid Assiraj, Director of Open Hands, visited the CRC campus this week, during a trip to the UK, where he met tutors to begin plans for the college’s 2020 visit.

His work is well known in Morocco having been commissioned to create a recycled bike-tyre installation, in famous gardens in the capital of Marrakech.

Rob Metcalfe, Head of Department for Sport and Uniformed Services at Cambridge Regional College, said: “Rachid has inspired us to plan this trip after reading about the second world summit in recycling, which was held in Morocco last year, and on learning that Morocco banned the use and sale of plastic bags in 2016.

“These are important issues for all young people globally so it is great to team up our Cambridgeshire students with young people in Morocco and to do this via the medium of art.”

Cambridge Regional College has been supporting orphanages in Morocco through the Open Hands project for the past nine years with annual trips. Usually they get involved in renovation work, sport projects, donating equipment and feeding the homeless.

This year they will add art and recycling into the mix.

A recycling art installation project in Marrakesch made from old bike tyres, by Rachid Assiraj, Directgor of Open Hands charity.

Open Hands is a registered charity organisation in Morocco founded in 2009.

It is committed to supporting the community in Marrakech and surrounding areas through various volunteering projects, including supporting children with disabilities, orphanages, supporting the community through painting and repairing schools and hospitals, teaching English and feeding the homeless.

The charity fund raises for children who need medical surgeries and are unable to afford it, they distribute clothes and blankets as well as basic requirements to poor families.

Rachid Assiraj said: “Our achievements have touched millions of lives. These were successfully done in collaboration with volunteers like those from Cambridge Regional College, to whom we are very grateful.”

See his bike tyre art installation here


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