Healing hearts in the aftermath of Morocco’s earthquake

Good Neighbors’ Partnership with Shifaa Foundation: Healing hearts in the aftermath of Morocco’s earthquake

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco on September 8th, 2023, leaving countless families shattered and communities in despair, the urgent need for aid and support became paramount. Thousands were left homeless, vulnerable and traumatized, requiring immediate assistance to rebuild their confidences and lives.

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In the face of this crisis, Good Neighbours stepped up, providing essential relief to those affected. From distributing food and emergency items such as tents, clothing and blankets to ensuring child protection through psychosocial support, Good Neighbours played a vital role in the recovery process. 

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We recognize the need for sustained support for families affected, particularly in the realm of mental health and psychosocial well-being, after estimates that the rebuilding of the High Atlas mountains will take around 5 years to complete. Together, Good Neighbors and Shifaa Foundation, a like-minded partner organization dedicated to holistic healing and community empowerment, have launched our renowned Psychosocial Support (PSS) program, aiming at nurturing emotional well-being and fostering resilience among the earthquake-affected population, especially children.

Our PSS program has been running continuously since the end of September, involving the following key activities; 

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Activity 1: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) 

Good Neighbors facilitated extensive training for 11 MHPSS trainers who have gone on to train local volunteers in a train-the-trainer approach in each affected village. These skilled individuals, passionate about making a difference, now collaborate with Shifaa Foundation teams and trained volunteers to deliver GN’s transformative programs including “Listen to My Story” and “Re-Play”. Good Neighbors covers the trainers’ travel and accommodation expenses, particularly for those residing outside of Marrakesh, to ensure that these valuable support programs  can reach the communities and children that need it most. 


Activity 2: Child-Friendly Spaces (CFS) 

Through the expertise of Shifaa Foundation, we have established havens in the form of Child-Friendly Spaces across five villages. These spaces provide children with not just shelter, but a nurturing environment where they can learn, play and heal, fostering a sense of normalcy amidst chaos. 


Activity 3: Livelihoods 

In an effort to support the local community, Good Neighbors and Shifaa Foundation are compensating volunteers based on the average daily wage of a worker in their respective villages.

The collaboration between Good Neighbors Canada and Shifaa Foundation is creating positive prospects of hope and optimism. Together, our organizations seek to create a lasting and positive impact on the lives of those affected by the Morocco Earthquake.

The quake brought unimaginable hardships to the affected regions; losing homes, jobs and vital services like healthcare and child support overnight. Good Neighbors' response, in partnership with Shifaa Foundation, is a testament to the power of compassionate and strategic humanitarian efforts. Our dedication to helping the affected communities through psychosocial support, child-friendly spaces, and livelihood support reflects the true spirit of global solidarity and, we hope, will bring hope to those on the path to recovery. 

For more information about the Morocco Earthquake Appeal from Good Neighbors Canada, please see here.