HAF’s dream in the 2017 planting season is to reach new places; this dream came true with five schools in two communes (Gantour and Sbiaat) in the Province of Youssoufia: the Al Faouariaa, Inbiaat, and Sidi Ahmed primary schools; the High School Andalus; and the Al Banae Middle school.
On January 16th (annually on the third Monday of January), HAF’s Larbi Didouqen and Fatima Zahra Laaribi traveled to five schools throughout the day to celebrate a memorable planting event with members of local communities, including Amal Alghad Association for for Rural Woman and Child, Binae Association for Sustainable Development, Network Development Association, representatives for the provincial delegation of education in Yossoufia, as well as representatives of the communal council, presidents of parents associations and of course the directors of the five schools.
HAF provided in-kind the Vetiver grass and trees of almonds, walnut, fig and palm for the schoolyards and for the students to take home for their own family orchards.
As part of raising awareness of the importance of planting trees in schools, students were asked to share their insights about why they think that planting trees is important.
Their answers were as follow: “trees definitely help us breathe”, “trees save the earth”, “trees cool the schools” and “without trees there would be no life on this planet.”
Afterwards, that Mr. Didouqen showed them the proper techniques of planting trees. On that morning students replaces pens with shovels to plant trees at their schools. The students were eager and energetic as the car pulled up to deliver the trees. Students were so happy to be a part of the 16 January event and participated actively in the planting process.
Watching the students plant, I also wanted to participate, so I took the initiative and I planted an almond tree in the school yard. I can’t describe how much I enjoyed planting with the students, which reminded me of planting when I had participated two years ago with HAF’s team in the Rhamna province.
All students, teachers, and directors showed the appreciation, joy and happiness in the five schools. They were so excited to participate and assured their teachers and headmasters that they will water and care for these trees.
The day ended with hope and excitement for the future, as students and teachers, directors and officials, expressed their gratitude and their desire to expand trees to include other rural schools.
I am looking forward to continuing to work with these schools to make a difference in the lives of rural Moroccan communities. I look forward returning to Youssoufia to see the prosperity of trees.
- Fatima Zahra Laaribi