For Caro and Jan from Cologne, Morocco is their second home. They want to help after a terrible earthquake south of Marrakesh. With a special promotion.
Cologne – It’s been around a week since the earthquake of the century in Morocco occurred. Thousands of people have died. Even more people remain missing. Numerous mountain villages were destroyed, and many other villages remain completely cut off from the outside world. In short: the region around the epicenter is in ruins. Even days after the quake, chaos and despair still reign in the High Atlas region. And right in the middle: Jan and Caro from Cologne. “You can’t even imagine it. Sometimes you can no longer tell that there was once a house there,” says the Cologne native in an interview with 24RHEIN.
Cologne couple launches appeal for donations for Morocco: “Need food, baby food and water”
Caro has lived in Cologne for around 15 years, Jan even longer. “But our second home is Morocco.” Eight years ago, the designer and the television producer fell in love with the country and its people. For a year they have even had a house in Marrakech – 80 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake.
When the 6.8 magnitude quake struck last week, the two were in Germany, but wanted to fly to Marrakesh a few hours later. They both had the plane ticket for a long time. “We then read about the quake in the news. But the extent was not yet clear.”
They arrive in Morocco just hours after the earthquake of the century. Her house was spared, but many friends and acquaintances in the Atlas Mountains were less lucky, says Jan. “When we arrived in Marrakech, we wrote to a woman who lives in the Atlas Mountains and with whom Caro had worked for a long time . We didn’t hear from her for two days,” recalls the 55-year-old. Then she finally speaks up.
A village is in ruins – but there is hardly any help
Their village is in ruins and there are many dead, including children. Aids for survivors: none. “It was immediately clear to us that we simply had to help.” The two spontaneously started the “Caro and Jan help” appeal for donations on the “GoFundMe” portal. “Our plan was to ask friends and family to help the friends and families here.” The first donation goal: 2000 euros. This will be used to buy clothing, diapers and food. They then want to bring the two of them personally to the people in the Atlas Mountains, it says in the call.
But it’s not just friends and family members of Caro and Jan who donate: “The first 2,000 euros came together within a few hours. Absolutely crazy.” So Jan keeps increasing the donation goal. Hundreds of donations have now been received. The current donation amount: 27,773 euros (as of September 15th).
Fundraising campaigns after earthquake in Morocco
► It’s not just Jan and Caro who are currently collecting Donations for Morocco. Appeals were launched on numerous donation sites such as “GoFundMe” or similar. These include Essalam National Association, a Moroccan aid organization with connections to Cologne (NRW), as “GoFundMe” spokeswoman Lydia Kröger tells 24RHEIN.
► We also have various aid organizations such as “Unicef”, “Doctors Without Borders”, “Caritas”, “Aktionsbündnis Disaster Aid” and “German Red Cross” have launched appeals for donations.
Caro and Jan have already brought over a ton of donations to the Atlas Mountains
The first tour with relief supplies started on Wednesday. Jan and Caro rented two cars and bought diapers, baby food, couscous, canned goods and warm blankets as well as children’s clothing. “All things that are urgently needed. We got the list from our contacts in the village,” explains Jan. Overall, the Cologne couple raises a ton of donations.
But getting to the villages was difficult. “These are the smallest gravel roads that you drive up. The villages are completely cut off.” It took Caro and Jan around 4.5 hours to cover around 80 kilometers. Eventually they manage to bring the donations to the villages. And see the chaos and destruction with your own eyes. “That’s really crazy. Entire villages are buried and simply gone. You can’t imagine it.”
That’s why it’s clear to both of them: They want to continue to help. “This was the short-term immediate help. Now there is the next step – medium-term and long-term goals.” These are, on the one hand, warm clothes and tents to prepare people for the harsh winter and, on the other hand, the construction of houses and villages, Jan continues. That’s why the two want to keep their fundraising campaign going. (jw) Fairly and independently informed about what is happening in Cologne, Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia – here is our free one 24RHEIN newsletter subscribe to.
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