Hundreds Of Billboards Turned Into Tents To Provide Shelter After Earthquake
By Mikelle Leow, 05 Dec 2023
Image courtesy of Wunderman Thompson Morocco
In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Morocco’s Marrakech Al Haouz region in September, which claimed over 2,850 lives and left thousands injured, an innovative humanitarian effort emerged. Wunderman Thompson Morocco, in collaboration with the Jood NGO, launched Life-Saving Outdoors, an initiative transforming outdoor billboards into much-needed tents for those left homeless.
The project ingeniously repurposed 4x3 outdoor billboards—made of high-quality thermal fabric—into durable, waterproof, and thermal tents within just 48 hours of the calamity. These makeshift shelters were particularly crucial for residents in remote, mountainous villages who were facing harsh weather conditions without proper housing, providing them with robust and comfortable temporary roofs over their heads.
The rapid response was made possible with backing from Allianz Insurance, Mindshare Morocco, and local printers, who donated billboards and resources, according to a press release.
Hind Laidi, the founding president of Jood NGO, highlighted the initiative as “a powerful demonstration of solidarity and creativity.” The effort proved that “even in the most difficult times, humanity can unite to help each other,” Laidi continued.
Nabil Sarih, creative director at Wunderman Thompson Morocco, emphasized the initiative’s dual benefit: providing immediate shelter to those in need and repurposing old billboards for an incredible cause.
“The Life-Saving Outdoors concept encapsulates the potential of each converted 4x3 outdoor billboard to serve as a temporary refuge for families of more than eight during critical times. It provides an essential shelter, albeit temporarily, when much needed,” said Sarih. “However, its impact goes beyond simply providing shelter but also rejuvenating old billboards and [giving] it a noble second life, demonstrating their ability to be reused for vital initiatives.”
The impact of Life-Saving Outdoors was significant. In its initial 48 hours, around 50 tents were made, offering shelter to 400 families. To date, 1,219 tents and essential supplies like blankets and food have reached those affected.
Jood’s role has been instrumental, with the nonprofit distributing over 682,555 food baskets and providing additional support, including mobile shower trucks and hairstyling services to nearly 4,000 individuals.
As winter sets in, the need for more shelters grows. The organization is actively calling on brands, companies, and individuals to contribute to this life-saving campaign. Every transformed billboard not only offers a haven for families but also serves as a temporary classroom for students and a sanctuary for animals affected by this tragedy.
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