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First night under the stars

Cœur de Gazelles

Marathon, here we come!

After an imposed day off, the Cœur de Gazelles team is delighted to tackle its 5th day, which will also be its first marathon night. The volunteers will not be returning to the bivouac this evening, but will camp out under the stars, not far from Tafraoute, the village where they will be set up for two days.

Once the installation is complete, the consultations can begin. The dentists and opticians are quickly busy: despite the two days of consultations, patients are afraid they will not be seen. The teams are sheltered from the heat as the day progresses. The inn finally empties out towards the end of the afternoon: time to go, direction the improvised bivouac. After putting up their tents, they all get together to share a good meal.

There are lively discussions as the caravan’s volunteers unwind a little from the intensity of the day. Little by little, they make their way to their tents, until no sound can be heard but the murmur of the desert.

Come back tomorrow for a full report on the marathon leg.

The donations unit

The donations unit may not be medical, but it is the oldest unit of the Cœur de Gazelles caravan. It was with the donations unit that Marina and a few volunteers, who are still there today, first began visiting the small villages of southern Morocco to help the local populations. The test was a success, and led to the gradual addition of medical units to become the caravan we know today.

The donations are important for the local communities, but the focus is on intelligent donation. This means that nothing is given at random: while scouting the terrain for the caravan’s route, Fred, the caravan manager, puts together a list of families in the villages they will be visiting.

This list allows the distribution team in the field to give donations that meet real needs: a family with children will receive appropriate-sized clothing, toys, games and books whereas a Nomad family will receive warm clothing and blankets.

To facilitate their work during the caravan, the volunteers sort all the donations received at the Start Village of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. Boxes are filled by category: adult clothing, children’s clothing, shoes, games, books, sports equipment, medical supplies…

This year, thanks to the Gazelles, more than 160 m3 of donations were collected and transported to Morocco by our logistics partners, Dupessey and Aïcha.

Many thanks to the generous donors and to Alain and Hassan, who transport the donations to the Cœur de Gazelles village every day.




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.