CCJ Foundation MOROCCO Earthquake Relief



Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation &

Morocco Immersion Earthquake Relief

Family in the village of Atlas Ijjoukak, Morocco. Photo credit: Al Jazeera


Dear traveler and friends of Morocco!

Please help Moroccan families rebuild their homes after the September 8 earthquake in the High Atlas Mountains!

In the little town of Atlas Ijjoukak, close to the epicenter, most villagers were left in ruins with their homes and lives shattered, and family members dead or still missing. We have received reports from the ground that there are already plenty of aid campaigns to raise funds for food, medicine and clothes. CCJF is coordinating with our friends at Morocco Immersion Tours and Adventure to help with the larger task of giving all donations to families who need to rebuild.

The donations received through this campaign will go directly to the Association Tiouizi for Development, Environment & Sport in order to help three families in Atlas Ijjoukak rebuild their lives and homes.

Morocco's deadly earthquake also badly damaged the newly restored Tinmel Mosque, one of the most important historical sites in the area. Tinmel is an earth-and-stone mosque built by a medieval dynasty that ruled North Africa and Spain.

We learned today that the death toll has risen to nearly 3,000 people, with close to 6,000 injured. Please pray for Morocco and its beautiful people!

Thank you!

Cilla Utne for the CCJF Board of Directors
Sharon Louthian and Abdou Idrissi of Morocco Immersion

Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation (CCJF) was established as a 501(c)(3) public foundation in 1998 to promote global awareness and foster sustainable development in the countries where Cross Cultural Journeys visits. All donations to CCJF are tax-deductible.

The mission of CCJF is to “help create sustainable economic, educational, environmental and social development in underdeveloped countries of the world”. Since its establishment - apart from supporting Ukraine relief efforts - CCJF has developed and supported programs in numerous countries including Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Tibet, Myanmar, Nepal, Cuba, Guatemala, Ukraine, and Morocco.

You can support the important work of Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation by mailing a check to:

Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation
321 Highschool Road NE, Suite D3, Box 353
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110


To donate with a credit/debit card, call our office: 1-800-353-2276




Taltnamarte Village Preschool and Rug Co-op - The preschool was founded to promote and encourage access to formal education for young children in Taltnamarte Village, Morocco, especially for young girls. To make the project self-sustainable, seed funds raised in 2020 supported the foundation of a women’s rug cooperative that would ultimately fund the lasting expense of teachers' salaries of the preschool. While not an apprenticeship in lieu of formal education, the women who participate in the cooperative may be widows or divorced woman and/or other single mothers. The sales from the co-op went towards:
1) income for the women of the cooperative (50%),
2) to pay the pre-school teachers’ salaries and any other expenses for the Taltnamarte Village Preschool pre-school (25%),
3) re-investment into the cooperative for capital expenses, e.g. buying wool and other materials for the making of the rugs (25%).

The idea for the co-op to fund the pre-school was developed in partnership with the CCJ travelers during their Spring 2019 tour.


Taa’ P’it - An after-school program in San Pedro La Laguna that provides local Tzutujil Mayan youth with computer skills training and teaches them about the ecology of Lago Atitlan, their “mother lake”. During 2020, the pandemic stalled the in-classroom teaching, and instead, a successful in-home education of parents and children was launched to teach gardening and cooking classes remotely.

(NOTE: Because of the US embargo against the Cuban government, monetary donations are not allowed, but funds are raised for CCJF to be able to purchase goods to bring to Cubans in need).

  • Basic Household Goods to support Cuban families - While the Cuban government and rigorous medical system got a handle of the pandemic early on in Cuba, their economy relies heavily on tourism. The worldwide lockdown and a strict US embargo  in 2020 produced an ever growing chasm between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' in Cuba, and food and basic household goods are scarce. This fund is used to buy and bring with us basic items like soap, shampoo and cooking oil that are not readily available.
  • Art Supplies to Muraleando - CCJ Foundation regularly brings paints, brushes, pencils, drawing pads, and other art supplies to Muraleando (mural-making), an amazing community folk-art project in one of Havana’s poor neighborhoods.
  • Youth Soccer in Havana - Cubans value athletics highly, but equipment can be hard to come by on the island. Since 2015, CCJF has brought several shipments of soccer equipment -- balls, pumps, cleats, practice cones and vests, referee’s whistles, etc. -- for a youth soccer league based in Havana.
  • Musical Instruments and Supplies - While it may seem like musical talent grows on trees in Cuba, musical equipment unfortunately does not. CCJF regularly brings musical supplies, like guitar strings, picks and saxophone reeds to give to Cuban musicians, and occasionally facilitates donations of instruments to Cuban music schools.
  • Medical Supplies to Hurricane Survivors - After Hurricane Matthew battered eastern Cuba in October 2016, CCJ travelers donated over $2000 to purchase medical supplies for residents of the affected area.


  • Queen of Sheba Tearoom - The  CCJ Foundation began with a small grant in 1997 to fund the roof of a tea house near Lalibela, Ethiopia, being built by a nine-woman co-op. The women were destitute widows and single mothers. Travelers from Cross Cultural Journeys continue to visit the now highly successful Queen of Sheba Tea House. The daughters of the original 9 co-op women are running the tea house and now saving to start a grocery store.


  • Nepal FREED - Working with the NGO Nepal FREED in the building of three rural schools and libraries and hiring teachers in the Sherpa region of Nepal. These schools had to be re-built by Nepal FREED after the earthquake, with infrastructure to withstand future earthquakes.  
  • Springdale School - Working with U.S. Springdale School team in the funding and construction of the building of a school in Bhaktapur, Nepal.


  • Scholarships and facilities for the children of a local orphanage in Tiruvannmalai, India, so they can complete their schooling at an English speaking school which prepares them for University studies.
  • 10 year commitment for scholarships through a local Indian NGO, for young village girls in India so they can complete their schooling at an English speaking school which prepares them for University studies.



Foundation projects and programs have included:


  • An embroidery co-op for young women to earn funds for their education and teach their craft to younger girls so that they might become employed.
  • Local crafts are purchased from subsistence level craftswomen and brought to the U.S. for sale; the proceeds are used to purchase more crafts to sell for them.
  • Funding a rural community medical and medical education clinic in Northern Ethiopia staffed by a local health care nurse with basic medicines and a visit monthly from a doctor from Addis Ababa.
  • A micro lending project overseen by local community elders with all repayment funds going back to the loan pool.
  • A small grant to fund the roof of a Tea House being built by a nine-woman co-op. The women were destitute widows or had been abandoned by their husbands. Travelers from Cross Cultural Journeys visit the now highly successful Queen of Sheba Tea House. The co-op of women are now saving to start a grocery store.
  • A grant was given to a 17 year-old woman to sponsor her tuition and living expenses while she attended a six-month tailoring training in Addis Ababa. Upon her return to Lalibela she established a tailor shop and taught 8 other young women tailoring skills. Their most recent grant was given for rent to open a store front shop.
  • A grant was made to fund the start up of a small restaurant where a number of local members of the community are employed. The proprietor has applied for a grant for a new refrigerator so that she can serve cold beverages to her patrons.
  • A grant was given to a Maasai woman who was starting a school for rural Maasai children to learn in their own language. The school is now self supporting.
  • A grant was made for a program to help build wells in villages where women traditionally have walked ten miles for daily water.


  • Funding the building, libraries, and teachers for rural schools in the Sherpa region of Nepal with the NGO Nepal FREED
  • Ongoing support for children at a Tibetan orphanage which teaches the children the traditional craft of paper making.
  • 10 year commitment for scholarships for young girls in India so they can complete their schooling.
  • Funds for supplies for a community project in Mongolia to rebuild a monastery. Travelers provide a day of service.
  • Provided books for rural schools in Mongolia.


  • Cuba – Medicines; glasses for elderly; bilingual books for schools, maternity clinics and NGO’S; sports equipment for schools; clothing
  • Ecuador and Peru – fair trade craft projects



The Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation board of directors:

  • Chair: Leif Utne - A long-time activist, journalist, musician and social entrepreneur, Leif is the co-owner and CFO of Cross Cultural Journeys.
  • Secretary: Cilla Utne - An expert in intercultural communication and a native of Sweden, Cilla is the President and CEO of Cross Cultural Journeys. She holds an MBA from Presidio/Pinchot University.
  • Treasurer: Carole Angermeir - Founder of Cross Cultural Journeys and the CCJ Foundation. Carole retired in 2015 after running CCJ for 24 years.
  • Shelley Morrison - Intercultural educator, journalist, and marketer
  • Wilford Welch - Author, teacher, activist, retired executive and diplomat

You can also support the important work of Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation by mailing us a check at:

Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation
321 Highschool Road, NE, Suite D3, Box 353
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110


click on the button below to donate by credit card/PayPal

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