Morocco – a country made romantic by movies and travel programmes, with gleaming sands, sparkling seas and ancient sandstone buildings.
But this is a country of harsh reality, especially for its young people. Almost half of those under the age of 29, have no access to school and no work, and for this section of society, migration offers a real way out.
At the sea port of Tangiers, young adolescents, mostly between the ages of 11 and 17, gather 2 or 3 times a day to watch and wait for any opportunity to find a hiding space on a ship or a ferry heading to Spain. Those who can, will tuck themselves into minute spaces underneath tour buses that pass between Morocco and Spain each day.
Reda, 17, is a migrant who made it to Spain several times, but was found and sent back to Morocco each time. He knows that Spain is still trying to find a way out of its own economic crisis, but still believes that the country offers him the most hope for his future. “There, regardless of the economic crisis, you can make your way through life. Here, when the crisis strikes, it is a real.”
Most homeless youths in Tangier are not actual street children, but rather “children waiting to cross or who have been returned from Spain and are trying to cross back”. According to the executive director of the Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, children attempting to migrate from Morocco are putting themselves at great risk. “You have children who are incredibly vulnerable to physical violence [and] sexual assault.”
But still Moroccan adolescents head to their country’s ports each day, not caring about the reality that awaits them if they are caught, but determined to try to find the life that they can often only dream about.
- Pray for Morocco, a country where almost half the population is under 29, with limited access to education or jobs.
- Pray for protection for the children who seek migration, often under very dangerous conditions.
- Pray for the very few believers in Morocco, for strength, courage, faith and hope for their future. Pray for the growth of the church and the spread of the Gospel.
- Pray for the government of Morocco, to seek workable solutions to unemployment and education, and to see the way forward to a better future for the young people in this country.
- Pray for Christian labourers to hear the call to work amongst the young people of this country, where the harvest is ripe for the Gospel of Hope, but the labourers are few.
Matthew 9 vs 37-38: Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.’