Parents concerned by threats made against young Belgian volunteers in Morocco
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Parents concerned by threats made against young Belgian volunteers in Morocco

© Belga

Non-profit organisation Bouworde met on Wednesday to determine whether its programme in Morocco should be adapted following unrest aimed at young Belgian volunteers.

On Tuesday, a teacher was arrested after he called for the beheading of Belgian volunteers for working in shorts on a site in the south of the country.

“Thirty five young people are leaving for the same region next weekend and some parents have shared their concerns with us,” Bouworde spokeswoman Karen Heylighen stated.

The group targeted by the threats comprises of about twelve girls and boys aged between 15 and 18, who are working as volunteers in the village of Adar.

Apart from the teacher who was arrested, an MP from the Islamist party (PJD) leading the coalition government also condemned the way the young Belgians dressed.

“Bouworde has been active in the Taroudant region for more than 15 years,” Heylighen pointed out to Belga. “In the village of Adar, the NPO has been active for 10 years. We have already built a school there as well as a women’s centre. This year, the volunteers have been busy repairing flood damage to public road networks.”

According to the spokeswoman, the work being done by the young people is much appreciated by the inhabitants and was even featured in a local television documentary.

Bouworde claims that the youngsters have never really been in danger in spite of the threatening comments. “The man who made this call for beheading lives 800 kilometres from the village. The volunteers only heard of his existence through the press.”

The work in Adar is finished for the time being. The young people will stay in Morocco for a few more days to see the sights.

The Brussels Times

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