Mimi’s kittens: Hope under the rubble in Morocco

Fatiha with her cat, Mimi

19 September 2023


Mimi’s kittens are still under the rubble. She gave birth to them the night before the earthquake in Morocco. Mimi faithfully goes back and forth into the dust and debris to feed them every day.

Fatiha, who own’s Mimi, says she knows they are still alive as she can hear them mewling under the collapsed buildings. It’s an amazing story of hope and survival amidst the devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco just over a week ago.

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The moment the earthquake struck

Fatiha lives with her husband, their 20-year-old son and two daughters, ages 18 and 12, in the village of Tamgounssi, at the foot of the High Atlas Mountains. The earthquake struck at 11:11pm on Friday night. Its epicentre was less than ten miles away from Tamgounssi, which is just outside of the Al Haouz region where many of the nearly 3,000 reported deaths have come from.

Fatiha and her daughters were away from the house when the earthquake happened, but her husband and son were home. The roof collapsed on Fatiha’s husband, who was already in bed for the night. Her son had just managed to leave the house, but he and the neighbours went back in to rescue the trapped father, who miraculously has only serious bruising from the disaster.

The most urgent needs now

Fatiha in front of her home

After the initial relief that her family survived, Fatiha’s concerns now turn to the future. There is a gaping hole where the front of her home used to be, with the remains of her sofa protruding out of it. “My whole life, I’ve been struggling to build a decent life for my family,” she says. “Little by little, I did build it. And now, it’s all gone.”

When asked about her most urgent needs, in the days after the quake, she says, simply:

We need a roof over our heads.”

RS105820_Fatiha el Bahi 11

For the past week, Fatiha has slept outside, together with her husband and son and many others in their community, even though the nights are starting to be cold as winter approaches. There is a very real danger of wild animals, mostly dogs.

Her daughters are staying with their grandmother for the moment. Fatiha knows they are safer there but wishes they could all be together again. She is especially worried about her youngest, who, she says, is severely traumatized by the ongoing disaster.

How you can help

Fatiha talks to CARE staff in front of her collapsed home

CARE is working in the most affected regions in Morocco and is ready to support families as they face the prospect of having to build their lives from the ground up. The team has been focusing on providing hot meals, safe water supply, and emergency shelter, with particular attention given to women, girls, and people with disabilities.

The people of Morocco urgently need your help. Please donate now to help provide life-saving supplies.

Donate to our emergency appeal today

Images © Nadir Houboub/CARE Maroc

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