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Celebrating success

Tifnoute Valley - focus for the HAF organic project

At HAF we have had a very busy and successful few months. We are currently developing new projects and applying for funding to continue our work on sustainable community development in Morocco. However, it is useful to reflect on our achievements when considering the way forward…

HAF has had diverse and sustainable achievements since it began operations in Morocco in 2003. Since then, we have planted nearly 700,000 planted (about 18 times the number of trees in New York City’s Central Park), impacting about 5,000 marginalized rural families.  These projects not only tell the story of how Morocco can most cost effectively produce the billions of trees and plants it needs (according to its own projection, to break subsistence agriculture), but indeed overcome the existential challenges that also other nations of the region and world face – pervasive rural poverty, gender and youth marginalization, and land degradation.

Other HAF projects include: building 15 clean drinking water systems in villages that are among the most remote (halving infant mortality in a population of 4,000 people); establishing five women’s and girl’s cooperatives, including agricultural terraces and the installation of pressure-drip irrigation systems (providing 180 families social service and employment opportunities); building 3 schools and teachers’ housing and school bathrooms; and training in facilitating participatory planning about 250 people--university students, civil society members, and communal council members, and 1,400 agriculturalists in arboriculture and organic farming.

HAF Sami's project

Specifically in the past six months, we planted 235,000 fruit trees with Moroccan communities, a record for the High Atlas Foundation in one planting season. This has very significant economic and environmental impacts for the communities in which we’ve planted.  100,000 walnut seeds and 15,000 almonds were planted in a community nursery in the rural commune of Toubkal in Taroudant Province in the High Atlas Mountains, where HAF works with local farmers to certify organic their products and connect them with purchasers.  HAF and communities also planted 50,000 fruit saplings in a nursery at the historic cultural site of Akraich in Al Haouz Province, on land lent by the Moroccan Jewish Community of Marrakech, to benefit twelve neighboring villages in the region where HAF is also implementing the organic certification and commercialization initiative.

In the arid Rhamna province, 12,000 olive trees irrigated with pressure-drip systems and 70,000 cactus were planted. We are working with a women’s association to establish a cactus oil factory – also planned to be organic certified.  We’ve planted and distributed an additional 4,000 trees with rural children at 25 primary schools, with some to take home and plant in their family orchards, incorporating also environmental lessons to build their role as stewards of the earth.

field training for students CSOs officials in morocco

With regards to organic certification, HAF has interviewed and worked with 820 family farmers to inspect their land, teaching organic farming techniques and business planning with these stakeholders, in order to secure certification of their walnut and almond product.

We trained 133 people this year in facilitating participatory development, including university students, women elected to local municipal councils and civil society members.  (Tens of thousands of facilitators are needed in Morocco for transformative social change, and training by way of learning-by-doing can lead to community projects and the federation of civil associations to achieve broader goals.)  HAF also formalized the creation of two federations of civil associations in Mohammedia Province, in order for them to advocate and achieve larger-scale projects including municipal community centers.  These are among the first such federations in this area, and serve as a model for democratic community development.

HAF rehabilitating cemeteries in Essaouira

HAF conducted the preservation, cleaning, and planting inside the cemeteries of the 3 faiths in the coastal city of Essaouira (through community activities and the hiring of experts and some manual support), and engaged more than 400 local youth in workshops, lessons and visits around Morocco’s historical intercultural cohabitation which epitomizes the natural integration of unity and diversity.

In the southern province of Boujdour, HAF created a local association and completed a participatory training and assessment. We are currently completing project proposals on clean drinking water and education, and assessing the viability of the “miracle” Moringa tree in the region.

All of these accomplishments are integrated and codependent for development.  For example, a fruit tree’s yield cannot be certified organic without building local capacities through training; sustainable community projects cannot be identified and developed without the assistance of capable participatory facilitators of community dialogue; and individuals and small associations can’t impact the market without federating to increase purchasing power.

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HAF tweets

HafFdtn Out of 20 women in Ourika, only one woman knew what Moudawana, the Moroccan family code is. Why is this?
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HafFdtn For the first time, HAF Imagine/Moudawana facilitators have integrated the Moroccan family code into our empowerment workshops.
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HafFdtn At the Imagine/Moudawana empowerment workshops we conduct in with women their young daughters and toddlers, they are crucial!
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HafFdtn Empowerment of individuals is a journey that transforms how one sees themselves, their communities and the world.
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HafFdtn The voice of women in communities must drive change. Nothing can succeed if they are not involved in decision-making and action.
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HafFdtn In the participatory process, people can not be treated as props. They must be the ones identifying problems, and formulating solutions.
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HafFdtn By engaging in the participatory process, individuals are given the ability not just to have a voice, but to have a lasting impact.
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HAF in Morocco

High Atlas Foundation
4 Rue Qadi AyaadAl Manar 4A - 3rd floor - Appt. 12 El Harti, Guéliz, MARRAKESH 40.000 - Morocco

Tel: +212 (0)5 24 42 08 21
Fax+212 (0)5 24 43 00 02 

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Directions to HAF Marrakech Office

HAF in US

High Atlas Foundation
High Atlas Foundation 332 Bleecker Street, #K110, NEW YORK, NY 10014
USA

Phone: +1 (646) 688-2946
Fax: +1 (646) 786-4780

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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