Moroccan authorities close 'Village of Hope' and evict volunteers, parents and dependants

Some of the children at the Village
Some of the children at the Village

Gibraltar has a long history of supporting charitable work in many countries around the world, but one country which because of its proximity to Gibraltar has probably received most support from local organisations than any other is Morocco.

In April 2008 the Gibraltar Defence Police (then Gibraltar Services Police) sent over a team of volunteers to the Village of Hope, a Home for abandoned Moroccan children - and has continued supporting that work for the past three years. Local businesses have also supported the work financially over the last number of years, and many other local supporters will have Village of Hope calendars in their homes and places of work.

In an official statement, the organisers add: "The distressing news has now reached the many Gibraltar supporters of the Village of Hope that the Home has been closed by the Moroccan authorities, as part of what seems to be a nationwide crackdown on Christians working in the country, and all 16 overseas workers, including 10 parents, and 13 natural-born dependants, were told they were to be evicted from the site and country."

They go on to say that local supporters have invited Herman Boonstra a foster parent of 10 years at the Village of Hope and Director of the Home, and other individuals who were expelled from Morocco, to come to Gibraltar to share their story and their concern for the children. They will be holding a Press Conference in Gibraltar to explain the current situation and offer advice on how to give continued support.