The history of the association

The history of the association

Veronika Grabher_x3b3496

My motivation to take part in the 27th “Aïcha des Gazelles” rally was the charitable aspect of the ladies rally through the desert of Morocco.

I am Austrian from head to toe, and yet I have Moroccan roots. My mother is the daughter of a Moroccan soldier who served in the French army and was stationed in Bregenz after the end of World War II. The French army assigned him to Vietnam before my mother was even born.  His trail disappeared in 1952.

Therefore, I am the grandchild of an occupation soldier. Until August 2015, neither my mother nor I – knew anyone from our family of origin. After years of research, helped by journalists, we met an uncle of my mother’s and further members of the Moroccan family. Meanwhile, there is a TV documentary “Die Schwalben der Liebe” (Swallows of Love).

Nearly 200 “occupation children” were born between 1947 and 1948 in the Lake of Constance area. The single mothers and their children were morally condemned at that time.  Those women were met with a lack of understanding and contempt and some of them were even banished by their own families. They were a disgrace. Their children did not know their fathers and have never met them. These children are women and men who are now 70 years old and still lack their roots.

In the meantime, many of their mothers have died without having left any information about their fathers. The few that are still alive find themselves still unable to talk about their fate. They had to deal with suffering, disgrace and shame and have never received any compensation. I very much feel compassion for these mothers.

It is my personal wish that the stories of these women are not forgotten.

Together with the “French Organisation for and in Morocco”, I want to commemorate these women with the project “Aïcha des Gazelles”, which has the patronage of the Moroccan Royal Family.

The non-profit organisation “Coeur de Gazelles” can only exist through the rally “Aïcha des Gazelles”.  Its aim is to provide education and medical care to people in very remote villages in Morocco. This project also plans to build orphanages. With the help of this organisation, a job agency for women was founded in the southern part of Morocco and another group provides information regarding environmental matters. All of these measures are meant to improve the living conditions and therefore reduce the illegal flight of people to Europe.

With the participation in the 28th Rally “Aïcha des Gazelles” 2018 as well as the cooperation with various charitable projects in Morocco the association “Beyondlimit” is going to write a new chapter.

Me and the Beyondlimit Team are motivated to dedicate ourselves fully to this project.