It was a pleasure to be part of the HAF team and visit all of the projects we've worked on in Rhamna Province this weekend, when nearly 80 members of G4S Morocco from all the company (from maintenance crews to the Regional North Africa Director) planted with community members and schoolchildren some of the 5000 trees G4S donated in honor of Earth Day.
We were quite a site, a caravan of eleven G4S 4X4s and a large bus in a line behind the modest HAF grand taxi driving the 50 kilometers from Ben Geurir to the Ait Taleb commune, also called Jamm'at ma berd, or the village of cold water. I felt very proud to be in the car with my fellow HAF team members, Project Manager Abderrahim Ouarghibi and Administrator Fatima-Zahra Larbi, leading this caravan to one of our big project sites.
Abderrahim Gahouane, HAF's local community facilitator, greeted us upon our arrival in Aarbet, the village I had visited in September that convinced me quickly to come on board with HAF. Over the past three years, HAF has developed a special relationship with the local people, thanks to two major grants. The OCP Foundation generously granted HAF the opportunity to build drinking water systems, classrooms and teachers' housing, and plant olive tree orchards irrigated by pressure-drip systems.
It was through these important projects that HAF helped to identify the need for locally elected women to participate in a training that empowered them to be community leaders and facilitate community dialogue toward creating action plans for priority projects and implementing them. The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a program of the US State Department, made this participatory development training possible through another development grant.
This past Saturday, April 6th, the fruits of the various HAF projects were showcased. Our latest partner in the region, G4S, came out in huge numbers, and with a spirited team, eager to plant and visit schools and villages in which we have worked. They saw the warmth with which were received by the community members, and they saw the projects which HAF has implemented.
In the end, our group was welcomed by Abderrahim into his home, where a team led by his wife and sister cooked what I imagine was more than 15 pounds of couscous, fitting all 80 of us into their lovely home.
I look forward to returning to Rhamna, as I feel that HAF has a home there, as the projects implemented by HAF are essential to community development and the sustainable future of these communities. The changes that have occurred since we began our work are enormous, and HAF is honored to have the opportunity to continue to make a difference, thanks to our partners such as OCP, MEPI, G4S, and wonderful individual partners through GlobalGiving.
HAF Country Manager