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The Participatory Approach Put to Work in Marrakech’s Mellah Neighborhood

By Lloyd Farley

Marrakech

 Interfaith Iftar (Ramadan’s break of fast) was hosted on Thursday the 8th and Sunday the 11th with the joint efforts of different community organizations including Association Mimouna, High Atlas Foundation and various local associations. Hosted at the historic Slat Lazama Synagogue, the meeting brought together both Jewish and Muslim Moroccans to share a meal and discuss their needs together. The meeting took place at the synagogue in the Mellah, the historic Jewish quarters of Marrakech that is economically marginalized yet undergoing efforts of revitalization. The meeting was an opportunity for community members to discuss and pinpoint the changes that they wanted to see and help implement in their community.

 

 

After Iftar the 50 community members split up into different groups where they were instructed to layout the various resources and infrastructure that is currently available to them. Additionally, they also discussed various resources that they would like to see introduced into the community, such as hospitals, youth centers, a police substation and even a place to play soccer for the kids. At each table the small groups were having energetic conversations and people were undoubtedly bonding as they found common ground in their shared experiences and desires. This small group interaction was facilitated by a community mapping project, which provides a way for small groups to intuitively share the way they experience their surroundings on a large sheet of paper with provided markers. Additionally, the small groups were instructed to list some of the things they would like to see introduced to their neighborhood.

 

 

Once all of the maps were completed the community regrouped back into one group. During this time members of the smaller groups were given the opportunity to present their maps to the entire group. This period of the meeting lead to some of the most robust discussions where people found opportunities to speak up about their needs in front of a larger audience. It was also quite inspiring to see people with different perspectives to be able to reach common ground during these discussions. The conclusion met by the entire group was that the number one priority was a hospital. The need for a hospital was followed up closely, in terms of priority, by the need for a school for younger children.

 

The real beauty of the participatory approach implemented by the High Atlas foundation can be found in the ways that it can help take the various concerns that were presented during the mapping portion of the exercise and prioritize them by order of importance. The ability to take the sheer number of concerns and meaningfully translate them into a list of actionable items was incredible. While during the large group discussion portion many people were sharing their desire to “stop talking and act.” What these community members realized is that action is important, which is true, but a consistent roadblock is not properly translating the needs that were communicated earlier into manageable list that allows for efforts to be coordinated and multiplied. Additionally, this process allows community members to, essentially, speak directly to outside organizations about their needs so that any revitalization efforts can be the most properly applied according to those needs. 

 

 

 

These community meetings and break of fasts together marked the first of many to be held at the synagogue and other locations for the people of the Mellah. These meetings will involve different segments of the population, such as women and children, in order to make sure that all perspectives are taken into account. The meeting will also be followed up with food distribution and efforts to secure funding to go to projects that will address the needs brought up at the meetin

 

-The writer is a third year Anthropology student from the University of Texas at Austin and intern with the High Atlas Foundation.

 

 

 

مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير و الإفطار الجماعي في صلاة العزمة.

 

ارشيد م.نتصر 

مشرف على مشروع سامي.

مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير.

للرقي والتقرب أكثر من ساكنة حي الملاح العتيق، بمدينة مراكش، تمكنت مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير بشراكة مع جمعية ميمونة افتتاح أول إفطار جماعي مساء يوم الخميس 08 يونيو، و تم هذا بحضور أغلبية أعضاء مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير، مسؤولو جمعية ميمونة و السيد جاكي كادوش رئيس الجالية  اليهودية بجهة مراكش، أما من الفئة المستفيدة،  حضر حوالي أكثر من 35 شخص يمثلون جمعيات محلية بحي الملاح, الذي يعرف اليوم بحي السلام في ﻣﺮﺍﻛﺶ.

ﺑﻴﻨﻤﺎ ﻟﻢ ﻳﻌﺪ الكثيرون من ﺍﻟﻴﻬﻮﺩ ﻳﺴﻜﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﻨﻄﻘﺔ، ﻻ ﺯﺍلت فئة أخرى تﻌﻴﺶ ﻫﻨﺎﻙ ﺇﺫ ﺍﺧﺘﺎﺭﺕ ﺃﺳﺮﻫﻢ ﺍﻟﺒﻘﺎء ﻋﻮﺽ،ﺍﻟﺬﻫﺎﺏ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺍﻟﺪﺍﺭ ﺍﻟﺒﻴﻀﺎء ﻓﺮﻧﺴﺎ، ﺃﻭ ﺣﺘﻰ ﺇﺳﺮﺍﺋﻴﻞ. ﺍﻟﻤﻘﺎﺑﺮﺍﻟﻴﻬﻮﺩﻳﺔ ﻭﺍﻷﺿﺮﺣﺔ  والمعابد ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﻻ ﺯﺍﻟﺖ ﺗﺰﺍﺭ ﺇﻟﻰ ﺍﻟﻴﻮﻡ, ﺗﻮﺟﺪ على ﻃﻮﺍﻝ ﺍﻟﻄﺮﻳﻖ ﻗﺮﺏ ﺣﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻼﺡ، ﻭﺗﺴﻤﻰ ﺃﺷﻬﺮﻫﺎ ﻣﻘﺎﺑﺮ ﺍﻟﻌﺰﻣﺔ ﻭﻣﻘﺎﺑﺮ ﺍﻟﻔﺎﺳﻴﻴﻦ ﻧﻈﺮﺍ ﻷﻥ ﻣﻌﻈﻢ ﺍﻟﻤﺪﻓﻮﻧﻴﻦ ﻓﻴﻬﺎ ﻣﻦ ﻳﻬﻮﺩ ﻣﺪﻳﻨﺔ ﻓﺎﺱ ﺍﻟﺬﻳﻦ ﻗﺪﻣﻮﺍ ﺑﺪﻭﺭﻫﻢ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻷﻧﺪﻟﺲ. ﻛﺎﻥ ﻳﻮﺟﺪ ﺑﺎﻟﻤﻼﺡ ﺍﻟﻌﺪﻳﺪ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺎﺑﺪ ﻣﻦ ﺑﻴﻨﻬﺎ ﺃﻳﻀﺎ ﻣﻌﺒﺪ ﺍﻟﺮﺍﺑﻲ ﺑﻴﻨﺎﺱ ﻭﻣﻌﺒﺪ ﺑﻴﻘﻮﻥ.

بعد إفطار مفعوم بالأجواء الرمضانية الجميلة تم الشروع في العمل بكلمات الترحيب, نيابة عن السيد يوسف بن مير رئيس المؤسسة,  من طرفالسيدة فاطمة الزهراء العريبي مديرة المكتب والناطق الرسمي باسم مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير في مراكش. وتكلمت بعض الشيء عن أعمال ومشاريع المؤسسة دون أن تنسى أن تعرب سبب تواجد الكل هناك و على ماذا ستتمحور تلك المقاربة التشاركية.

كما تناول الكلمة السيد سمير، المسؤول عن جمعية ميمونة في جهة مراكش بإلقاء التحية للجميع والترحيب بهم، تكلم أيضا عن أعمال و أهداف الجمعية، و ذكر أيضا مدى علاقة الجمعية بمؤسسة الأطلس الكبير في مجالات التنمية المستدامة.

وبعد ذلك جاء السيد جاكي كادوش ليلقي كلمته أيضا, حيث اعترف أن ليس هناك اختلاف بين يهودي، مسيحي أو مسلم، الكل إخوة كما  نعيش على ما وجدنا أجدادنا، الذين لم يعرف قط ما معنى العنصرية بل عاشو و كبرو في تسامح كبير بين جميع الأديان. السيد كادوش كان جد سعيدا باستضافة ساكنة حي الملاح المسلمين بالكنيسة "صلاة لعزمة"، كما كان مسرور للحضور بينهم في المقاربة التشاركية المنظمة من طرف مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير.

و قبل أن تشرع السيدة أمينة الحجامي في المقاربة التشاركية، تفضل أحد رؤساء الجمعيات لينوب عليهم في كلمة شكر لمؤسسة الأطلس الكبير على خطوتها الشجاعة التي لم يسبق لأحد أن نظم مثل هذا اللقاء التشاركي من قبل، كما عبر على استعداداتهم للدفاع على مشاكلهم متمنيين أن يحل في أقرب وقت.

بعذ ذلك تحدثت أمينة الحجامي على خطوات المقاربة التشاركية، لتأتي و تنظم جميع الحضور و تقسمهم إلى مجموعات لكي تسهل عملية انتقاء معاناة الساكنة.فكانو أربع مجموعات، مجموعتين تظم الرجال فقط، و مجموعة نظم نساء و رجال أما الأخيرة فتظم النساء فقط.

بعد ذلك قمنا بتوزيع أوراق من الحجم الكبير و أقلام ذو ألوان مختلفة لكل مجموعة، مطلوبا من كل مجموعة أن ترسم الخريطة الطبيعية باللون الأسود، والمساحات الخضراء باللون الأخضر، اللون الأزرق الإدارات المحلية، أما اللون الأحمر خصص لأحلام الساكنة و متطلباتهم.وبعد أن شرحنا لكل مجموعة ما عليها القيام به، شرعن بالعمل على رسم خرائط طبيعية لحي الملاح كما هي في الواقع بأزقته و دروبه. وبعد أربع دقائق بدأ يتضح اللون الأحمر المعبر عن الأهداف و الاحتياجات على الأوراق كوضوح الشمس، كلما مررت بين مجموعة و أخرى كلما يتضح لك أكثر, المتطلبات الرئيسية، حيث يتبين المستشفيات هم الأوائل في القائمة الرئيسية.

بعد أن تمكنوا من رسم خريطتهم الطبيعية بكل احتياجاتها، كل مجموعة اختارت شخص ليقدم ما خرجت به من أهداف مستقبلية.

شرع كل واحد في تقديم الخريطة الطبيعية مع مشاكلها حتى تبين أن هناك كم هائل منهم، بعد ذلك تمكنا من اقتناء أكثر من 13 طلب وهي كالتالي :

1 - بناء مسجد حيث أن المسجد الوحيد مغلوق منذ فترة طويلة بسبب الإهمال.

2-  دار الثقافة أيضا في المتطلبات حيث الساكنة ترغب في تنمية مستواها الثقافي.

3- مركز شرطة و هو من أهم المطالب حيث تعاني الساكنة من شبه عدم الأمان

4-ألمساحات الخضراء المنعدمة تماما في حي الملاح.

5- روض أطفال هو كالتالى مهم جدا للجيل القادم بنفس الحي.

6- مركز للمراقبة الصحية هو أيضا طلب مهم للساكنة.

7- مركز إدماج المدمنين، حيث اغلبية شباب الحي مدونون على المخدرات.

8- يريدون أيضا إعادة ترميم ساقية ماء في وسط الحي.

9- مركب رياضي طلب لجميع الساكنة.

10- فضاء جمعوي حيث تفتقد الجمعيات المحلية لفضاء يجتمعون فيه لمناقشة أعمالهم.

11- طريق سياحية أو إعادة تصميم الطريق الموجودة أمام المقبرة اليهودية، حيث أعرب أحد مقدمي المطالب أنهم ليس لديهم مكان جميل لتقديمه للسياح الأجانب.

12- حمامات هم كالتالي شبه منعدمين بالحي.

13- إعادة هيكلة المنازل أمر ركزت عليه الساكنة بشكل أهم.

بعد التعرف على كل هذه المشاكل قمنا بفرزها عن طريق انتخاب بسيط مقدم من طرف الساكنة حيث في الأخير تمكنا من اكتشاف ثلاثة أهم مشاكل أو مطالب لدى الساكنة و هم كالتالي :

1- إعادة هيكلة المنازل أتت في المقدم.

2- مركز للمراقبة الصحية جاء في المركز الثاني.

3-  للأطفال هو الطلب الثالث في القائمة.

وكانت هناك مناقشة جيدة بعد هذا الفرز بين أعضاء مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير و رؤساء الجمعيات، حيث عبرو على سعادتهم و قدرو كل مجهودات المؤسسة على عملها الدؤوب المستمر.

أعضاء المؤسسة بدورهم شكرو جميع الحضور نساء و رجال، حيث قامو بعمل جيد و ساعدو في تنظيم خطوات المقاربة التشاركية، دون أن ننسى مساندة جمعية ميمونة في ذلك، و أيضا السيد جاكي كادوش على استضافته لنا في كنيس صلاة العزمة.

مؤسسة الأطلس الكبير ستبقى مواكبة بكل مجهوداتها لمساعدة ساكنة حي الملاح في مراكش لحل مشاكلها، مع الحرص على الحفاظ على مآثر مملكتنا المغربية  هناك، وتوفير مجموعة من المتنفسات  للساكنة.

 

وبمساعدة الجميع بما فيهم السلطات المحلية و الساكنة سوف نتمكن من تحقيق مجموعة من المطالب لساكنة الحي العتيق "الملاح".

The High Atlas Foundation and the Mimouna association organize a participatory meeting for the commune of Marrakech-Mellah

FOR INTIMIDATE RELEASE 
     
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

High Atlas Foundation and Association Mimouna Host Breakfast with Participatory Meetings for the Community of Marrakech-Mellah

June 8, 2017
Contact : Fatima Zahra Laaribi
Tel. (Morocco) : +212 (0) 52 442 0821
Marrakech
 
    This Thursday, June 8, the High Atlas Foundation will jointly host a breakfast at the Synagogue Slat Lazama with the Association Mimouna and the Jewish Community of Marrakesh-Sofi. The event will include a traditional Iftor breakfast to break the Ramadan fast and will be followed by community mapping sessions with local residents from the Mellah.

This event marks the beginning of a series of events with the Mellah community, aiming at fostering participatory engagement between the Mellah community and the High Atlas Foundation. Each session will work with a unique group of local people, mapping the Mellah communities’ needs and attempting to find solutions that sustainably mitigate the community’s concerns from a ground-up approach.

The High Atlas Foundation looks forward to working closely with community members of the Mellah, attempting to more deeply understand the needs of the community from the point of view of the community-members. Through doing so, the High Atlas Foundationhopes to more successfully facilitate discussions about potential solutions and implement them.

The High Atlas Foundation firmly believes in a commitment to grassroots problem solving: allowing communities to decide how to approach problems and assisting the implementation of these new projects. In this way, the High Atlas Foundation hopes to engage the community-members of the Mellah throughout this event and empower these associations, in the short and long-term.
The High Atlas Foundation is grateful to the Association Mimouna, the Jewish Community of Marrakesh, and the local government for partnering with us in order to host this event and facilitate these discussions.
 
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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

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 

Women and the Participatory Approach to Achieve Professional Work

 

By Amina El Hajjami, HAF Project Manager

High Atlas Foundation, Marrakesh Office 

8 June, 2017 

Moroccan women play a crucial role in the development of the community on a local and professional level. The progress of a community is directly correlated with the advancement of women and their capability to participate in economic, social and environmental development. Urban women in Morocco have more opportunities to participate in income-generating projects, and therefore have a greater potential to demonstrate their abilities in the work force. On the other hand, most women in rural areas have fewer opportunities to participate economically due to the social pressures found within their communities.

 

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) has worked alongside and trained 59 women from five villages in the rural Commune, Ourika, since 2015. HAF, partnering with Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) project and PUR Project, has helped to inspire these women to create their own project and realize their ideas.

The participatory approach that HAF uses allows the women of Ourika to not only prioritize their aspirations and while supporting them as they put their ideas into practice. This support comes in the form of, among other things, assisting them with the creation of cooperatives and the commercialization of their products. In the long term, these projects will invest in the overall empowerment and economic self-sufficiency of women through the creation of a green economy. Since the start, HAF has held workshops on the participatory approach, organic agricultural techniques, cooperative training and culinary sessions on couscous preparation using medicinal plants.

 

HAF’s first project meeting with ten women occurred in 2015 with group of women from the Takatert village located in the Ourika Commune of the Al Haouz Province. The first exercise was to draw their project and dreams on paper. At first, most of them laughed at this and replied: "The men cannot achieve anything in Ourika, so how could woman achieve this?” I explained to them that "what they all saw was a dream in the past, and now is a new reality. You could achieve anything if you have the will." I persisted with this concept every week. In every meeting or training, I saw the group grew and eventually we involved more than 50 women from the community.

 High Atlas Foundation has helped women from five villages in the Ourika commune to create the Aboghlou Cooperative and this results of are as follows:

1.      Certificate of approval of the name of the cooperative in Arabic and French

2.      The legal status of the Aboghlou cooperative

3.      The contribution of the Cooperative participants

4.      Open a bank account for the Aboghlou Cooperative and obtain a bank statement

5.      Authorization of local authorities for the creation of the Cooperative

6.      Register the Aboghlou Cooperative at the Primary Court in Marrakech

7.      Share the Cooperative file with Agricultural Center in Tahanaout and the Cooperation Development Office in Marrakech

 

The women of Aboghlou Cooperative have benefited from more than 14 different theory and practice workshops on the participatory approach, organic farming, grafting, compost, information , method of participation in the festival, climate change, team management, financial management, human rights, communication, Imaging women’s empowerment workshop, caravans and leadership. HAF still makes weekly or bi-weekly participatory meetings with the women of the Aboghlou Cooperative over subjects including project development.

 

Women so far have produced several types of couscous with medicinal plant and biscuits, marketed the products on locally, nationally and internationally also started working at the nursery starting in March 2016, planting almond and pomegranate trees, nigella saliva, cactus, calendula, and medicinal plants.  They have started to harvest calendula, nigella Sativa, and verbena.

 

Women so far have produced several types of couscous with medicinal plant and biscuits, marketed the products on locally, nationally and internationally also started working at the nursery starting in March 2016, planting almond and pomegranate trees, nigella saliva, cactus, calendula, and medicinal plants.  They have started to harvest calendula, nigella Sativa, and verbena.

 

Women so far have produced several types of couscous with medicinal plant and biscuits, marketed the products on locally, nationally and internationally also started working at the nursery starting in March 2016, planting almond and pomegranate trees, nigella saliva, cactus, calendula, and medicinal plants.  They have started to harvest calendula, nigella Sativa, and verbena.

Women so far have produced several types of couscous with medicinal plant and biscuits, marketed the products on locally, nationally and internationally also started working at the nursery starting in March 2016, planting almond and pomegranate trees, nigella saliva, cactus, calendula, and medicinal plants.  They have started to harvest calendula, nigella Sativa, and verbena.

Continuing environmental activities, HAF dedicated workshops to informing women on the effects of climate change locally and globally and have also prepared them for participation in the 2016 COP 22 in Marrakech. Women participate heavily in the workshop and observed current and future problems concerning the impacts of climate change. The High Atlas Foundation gave six of its members, representing the Aboghlou Cooperative, an opportunity to participate in COP22 between November 7th and 18th, 2016. They presented their products and communicated with national and international organizations, enabling them to exchange ideas and experiences.

 

The women participated in the local festivals in Ourika, Asni, Ait Ourir and COP22.  During the COP22, in the Kenzi Farah Hotel 3, women participated in a WECAN event "Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International.” The president of the cooperative, Rachida Outouchki, gave a speech in Arabic about the effects of climate change on her community. Two women sang a song in Amazigh, demonstrating their pride and passion they have for their work, as an opening for the event about earth. 

Workshops were held for women to understand the value of organic harvesting, completely eliminating the use of pesticides and chemicals. They learned about the health issues associated with pesticide and herbicide use, such as cancer and osteoporosis. After the classes, women were interviewed and noted that this experience has taught them what it means to work outside of the home. Indirectly correlated, exercise and health were also noted by some as benefits. Before the project’s implementation, it was common to just stay in the home and watch television for many women.

Workshops were also held directing self-identified cultural/social indicators, such as the strength of cooperation and the importance of respect and care for older generations. All of this is done while maintaining traditions, such as making couscous and identifying the purposes of medicinal plants. Women noted these cooperatives provided support, where they are able to bring up their problems and discuss them with other women facing similar issues. The group involves women from different villages, therefore providing them an opportunity to know each other and exchange differences in customs.

Communication between women was noted as a key benefit and helped provide activity outside the home, friendships and personal development. Time management skills were also tackled through these exercises.

Women were no longer speaking of "me" but "we". Friendships formed with several women from different villages taught women to speak for the need of the group rather than just being inwardly focused. One women remarked: "The High Atlas Foundation not only gave to us the opportunity of meeting with each other in the same commune, but now we can communicate with regional, national and international civil societies".  In addition, the cooperation between women provides support both materially and spiritually as they exchange visits in times of illness and joy.

Sustainability and teamwork workshops offered are as follows: what is a work team, what are the requirements for teamwork, what prevents you from working as a team, what difficulties do you encounter in the Aboghlou Cooperative today, and what compromises teamwork? Leadership training includes: what is a leader, what makes a leader, types of leaders, and what is the role of the leader?  Through the answers that I received from women, it appears that the women developed through several stages of growth, and at each stage, there were less and less problems, and thanks to the desire to continue, the group was able to overcome these problems. Before working in the group and creating the Cooperative the women had up to ten problems, often associated with fear.  Before the training when women worked with a group they faced upwards of twelve problems all relating to poor communication. Now just problems regarding finances and equipment for the Cooperative persist and are being addressed through training. In time, workshops and the increased experience of the women will assist them in addressing all of their problems.

 

Economic: The income of the women come from different products, such as different types of couscous and derivatives from wheat, barley, corn as well as biscuits.

 

 

Some income is derived from local sales between families and in the festivals. This project and women's cooperative also unifies families; women noted that they have a goal of being a model to the community, country and the world in terms of women's empowerment. This collective empowers the women to participate in community events like festivals, that weren't originally open to them.

 

Since the women do not have prior experience in managing nurseries and planting trees before joining this project, High Atlas Foundation, YSL, L'Oreal and PUR project all pledged to assist them.  The women of the Cooperative also receive funds from the sale of almond trees and in the future and sell calendula directly to YSL. In May 2017 the women harvest 50 kg of flower of calendula.

The women started the work on their products in parallel work in the legal framework and integrate the women in work of Cooperative.  The women now have an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to exchange information with organizations and a Facebook page under the name Aboughlou Cooperative to help introduce people to the cooperative’s activities and products.

 

The project that High Atlas Foundation managed in the Ourika Commune with the Aboghlou Cooperative has encouraged other women in other villages in the Ourika commune to create their own cooperatives and start their own projects. All of this is an indication of the success that the project of the Aboghlou Cooperative has experienced. 

Visit to Youssoufia

 

Visiting Youssoufia’s Schools

 

 

By Errachid Montassir

HAF Project manager

 

 

On the last Friday before Ramadan, we had a great visit to Youssoufia city.

As usual after every season of planting, HAF goes back to evaluate the situation of the trees, and listens to the stidents as to what they need in their schools.

And this evaluation's visit is respectively the fourth; after the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua and Benguerir.

We first met two very active people - Lmanssouri and Latifa.  The are responsible for the "Amal Alghad" Association which is working to bring benefit for rural woman and youth.

Those very kind people showed us the schools and they stayed all the day supporting the evaluation and participatory process.

Between those lovely streets, we arrived at the first school, which is called Sidi Ahmed - a primary school with more than 510 students who welcomed us with their beautiful smiles.  Then we met Said the director of the school, with whom we learned more about the Sidi Ahmed School.  Afterwards, we visited the area the trees were area.

The wonderful thing is that all the students were involved in taking care of the trees.  We engaged the students in a drawing workshop, where they showed us their future ideal school on paper.  It was actually quite emontional for everyone, as we identified many needs which we will do all we can to achieve.

And as every last step in our visits with schools, we gave them the certificate to encourage them and spread planting among them and their communities.

The second direction was to the primary school, called Inbiaat, which faces quite a difficult situation, and that did not help the trees to grow in a good environment.

We tried to get information about the school and also we had a long discussion withe the school’s staff about the trees, but sadly many of the trees there died.  That is due to many causes, for instance: there is an increased problem with the school's  water infrastructure, including for drinking.  We are developing an assessment in order to meet the school’s water needs.

Andalus High School was the third visit, which has 112 female students and 113 male.  That means the number of female students is rising (as compared to revious years, including around Morocco), and that's very wonderful to see the overcoming on challenges and them coming to study.

In the same high school, we met Said who is a teacher and responsible of the environmental club there.  He gave us all the information we need to evaluate the trees.  All the trees were alive.  The school has a very good watering system.  The students were involved in taking care of the trees and watering them.  All these reasons help the school to become a green and beautiful place.

The last step we had a group picture with the school community, and we gave them the certificate appreciating their efforts.

Before the fifth visit, we went to a middle school called Allal Al Fassi, where we met Lalla Fatiha the director of the school.  She just started her mission there a year ago.

At this middle school there is a huge empty space, and Lalla Fatiha suggested to make a nursery in that space.

And that's exactly our work; HAF is working to create more nurseries and more green spaces around the kingdom.  That's why we had a great discussion with the leader and students of the school about our future collaboration just to make a sustainable nursery there.

Among the most wonderful schools we visited in Youssoufia is a new middle school called, Albanae. We found all the trees in very good condition and they grew taller with green leaves.

The teachers and staff of the school there are very kind.  They showed us all the school.  There is an excellent boarding school containing all the conditions to let the students be more comfortable, they have a big hall to socialize in.

The moment that I felt close with the students is when we had a discussion in the open air among the green trees.  They were so happy to talk to us about the needs of their school. All what they want are books to make their library more meaningful.  At the end, we had a such good group, and we gave them their certificate.

The last visit in our day was to a primary school named Alfawarie, which has 60 male students and 59 females. The first thing you can see when you enter into this school is a beautiful garden which has very good almonds and pomegranate trees given from the HAF’s Sami's Project.  The teachers there look very energetic; they water and take care of the trees together with the students.

Also every student took two trees to their home.  That spread the culture of planting with families. They are so happy to see the trees growing in front of their eyes.

Before we leave the school the students sang to us very emotional hymns that are in relation to the environment.  Then we had a group picture with all of them, and the certificate we gave them is a form of encouraging the students to know the responsibility of taking care of the trees.

Finally, I would like to thank Lmanssori and Latifa and all the school leaders, teachers and students for their warm welcome.

I will go back there with many and different trees next planting season, and work to achieve their other priorities.

Together, we are going to make many green touches around Morocco.

 

 

 

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