Having a child in the hospital is every families’ nightmare, but for sick kids in the bustling Moroccan city of Casablanca their guardian angels might just be sitting behind the wheel of a taxi. They’ve started Free Taxi Monday, aimed at supporting the families of childrens’ hospital patients get home quickly after treatment.
Casablanca is notorious throughout Morocco for the terrible congestion on the city’s roads, especially during rush hour, the definition of which can stretch in Casablanca to cover anytime between 12.00pm and 17.00pm on weekdays.
National Union of Taxi Drivers ‘Free Taxi Rides For Sick Kids’
With most Moroccans reliant on public transport, finding a taxi to get home during peak times can be a struggle.
Moroccan cities tend to offer both private petit taxis, of the sort more familiar in Europe and America, as well as shared grand taxis which are commonly found across North Africa and in many Asian countries.
But for the parents of desperately sick children, having to factor in the ride home from the hospital in a shared taxi is just one more burden in already stressful situation. Shared taxis often can’t accommodate wheelchair users and the cost of a private taxi can be prohibitive for poorer families.
This is why the Casablanca chapter the National Union of Taxi Drivers has pledged to offer free rides home to patients of Abderrahim Harouchi Children’s Hospital every Monday from now on.
Finding Transport For The Sick A ‘Struggle’ In Moroccan Cities
Seddik Bouzahra, the regional secretary general of the union, explained that union members have been aware of the “struggle of finding transport for the sick” in Moroccan cities for some time and that drivers were moved by the plight of sick children, having encountered many desperate parents in their work.
The inaugural free taxi Monday took place yesterday, to great success. Dozens of taxi drivers volunteered their time, passing up fare-paying passengers in order to support sick children and their families.
The event was so successful that the taxi drivers’ union now hopes to extend the service to other local health centers.