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How Can We Know If a Project We Took Part In, Really Had an Impact?


Gal Kramarski From Jerusalem, in Marrakech Several months after finishing my internship with the High Atlas Foundation, I got the chance to go back to Marrakech, this time, only for a visit. Though the purpose of the travel was truly exciting, an interfaith conference in Essaouira, I was more excited about visiting my friends from

HAF and MEPI in the Oujda Region with Its Cooperatives

  The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) has worked in the Oujda Region for three years. HAF’s Marrakech and Oujda teams came together in August to facilitate women’s empowerment and cooperative development workshops and are touring the region, now joined by our counterparts from The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Since September 5th, we have met with cooperative members from four provinces, with two

Organic Farming in the Oriental Region


Yahya Rhomari Member, Cooperative of Organic Agriculture in Berkane The development of organic agriculture in Morocco faces various technical, commercial, financial, and organizational constraints. Organizational constraints—primarily poor coordination between local cooperatives and associations—are of particular importance and must be addressed. The lack of effective relationships between such entities can consequently impede upon the interests of

Haf’s Participatory Approach and Cooperative-Building Efforts Intertwined


By Eliana Lisuzzo HAF Program Assistant In a little under just one week, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) has met with members of 21 cooperatives throughout four provinces of the Oujda Region in Morocco. We have learned the stories behind the development of their cooperatives, about their products, unique manufacturing techniques, the highs and the

The Impact of Cooperative-Building Training on New Cooperatives’ Development and the Individuals Who Lead Them


Khalid (left) tells HAF about the challenges of starting a new cooperative and the solutions he and fellow Alaymoune members identified as a result of attending HAF’s training. By Eliana Lisuzzo Project Assistant The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) staff has met many driven Moroccan people with big plans to make a difference in their lives

The Power of Passion for Development Work, Sharing Knowledge, and Cooperative Building: Nordine’s Story


By Eliana Lisuzzo HAF Project Assistant We met Nordine on a sunny Wednesday morning. His tan skin revealed how he spends many hours outside planting as well as tending to the already planted almond trees throughout Irzaine in the Berkane province, Oujda region. He proudly walked us through one of the fields with growing trees

The Free Trade Agreement Affirms Environmental Protection


By Hajar Ennamli and Amy Zhang Marrakesh, Morocco On June 15th, 2004, Morocco and the United States signed their free trade agreement. In addition to removing informational frictions and trade barriers between them, these countries committed to sustainable environmental protection through consistent enforcement and administration of environmental laws.  In the environmental chapter, the two nations

My Work with HAF – HA3, Social Media and Tourism for Development

By Jamal Sebnat July 11, 2015 Jamal Sebnat reflects on his first two months as an intern with the High Atlas Foundation, specifically his work with High Atlas Agriculture and Artisanal. As an Intern at the High Atlas Foundation, the months May and June have been very enriching for me. I have participated in various

“Human Development in the Arab Spring” – Foreign Policy Journal

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir July 11, 2015 The implications of decentralization for societies in the context of human development. The Arab Spring signals a time of great potential to address the primary challenge currently facing governments and people in the Middle East and North Africa: to advance human development at a hitherto unseen pace and

The Peace Corps in the Arab Spring

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir July 15, 2015 Dr. Ben-Meir discusses the Peace Corps and its untapped potential for the Arab Spring and for international development as a whole. While typical two-year Peace Corps volunteer assignments are likely prohibitive in many Arab Spring countries, Peace Corps Response, the agency’s program for shorter, specialized assignments is perhaps

Reflections of Throne Day 2015

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President July 31, 2015 Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir reflects on this year’s Throne Day by recognizing King Mohammed VI’s promotion of sustainable development and the potential for progress in not just Morocco, but all of the Arab Spring countries. Morocco’s experience during this tumultuous time in the region is largely due

The High Atlas Foundation August Newsletter

August 10, 2015 The High Atlas Foundation’s August Newsletter features updates on the HOUSE OF LIFE initiative, as well as Sami’s Project and the “Baby Booties” initiative in the Tassa Ouirgane community. High Atlas Foundation’s Commitment to Action HOUSE OF LIFE is an innovative agricultural initiative whose implications are broad and resonate acutely with current

Sharing HAF & HA3 Success in Essaouira

August 14, 2015 By Hannah Rickard, Intern HAF interns travel to Essaouira to donate some of HA3’s own walnut oil to members of the culturally diverse HAF community.   (Date of Essaouira trip: 08/5/15) Escaping from the heat of Marrakech, HAF intern for technological and social media initiatives, Miranda LaBrash, and intern for multicultural initiatives,

Participatory Democratic Planning and Project Management, Boujdour Province

August 31, 2015 The following text (translated from Arabic) discusses the most recent democratic planning workshop in Boujdour Province, supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The workshop is part of a 12-month training program for 40 members of local civil society organizations. Training In Boujdour: August 6, 2015 Location: Associative Space Time: Half

UNDP Launches Storytelling Contest to Amplify Climate Coverage on the Run up to Paris Summit

September 7, 2015 The following press release comes from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The release is also available in French and Arabic. Geneva, Switzerland UNDP has launched today a global story-telling contest, Voices2Paris, to contribute to raising public awareness on the negative impacts of climate change as well as on the opportunities and solutions seen in actions

Socrates in the Classroom and the Community Hall

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF president September 28, 2015 Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir explains the importance of a collaborative, sustainable approach to human development, which enables communities, assisted by trained facilitators, to plan their own projects. Socrates, I imagine, might well have found himself at home at a modern-day community meeting, during which local people discuss the

Tapping the Market for Blanched Almonds: A Value-Added Opportunity for Rural Moroccan Communities?

By Ida Sophie Winter September 28, 2015 The following blog post details how the High Atlas Foundation is helping rural Moroccan communities reap the benefits of value-added almond processing.   The High Atlas Foundation and 693 rural High Atlas families have produced 100 tons of almonds this year, many of which are grown on over 100

HAF’s Gender Perspective

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President September 28, 2015 Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir discusses the goals of Gender and Development (GAD) and HAF’s work on gender empowerment in Morocco. Gender and Development (or Gender Empowerment) refers to measures needed to give women more control over their lives.  Among the goals of GAD is increasing women’s participation in

UN statement submitted by HAF

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF president October 5, 2015 The following statement was written by HAF president Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir for the UN Economic and Social Council. The statement discusses the importance of strengthening the means by which nations can implement the overall sustainable development global vision. We believe people’s participation, capacity building amongst stakeholders, cultural sensitivity

A Celebration of Haf’s House of Life Project and 15 Years of Development

On October 22, 2015 the United States Ambassador to the Kingom of Morocco, Mr. Dwight Bush, hosted in his Rabat home, Villa America, a reception to celebrate the human development work of the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco. The special gathering included 100 guests from different walks of life but who all share a dedication to

A Culminating Event at Villa America

By Elle Houby, HAF Development member October 27, 2015 Last week, on the evening of October 22, 2015, around one hundred guests gathered at Villa America, the U.S. Ambassador Dwight L. Bush’s residence in Rabat to celebrate a milestone for the High Atlas Foundation. In 2000, former Peace Corps volunteers founded the HAF with a vision

An Evening for Morocco’s Future

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir October 28, 2015 HAF president Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir expresses his gratitude for last week’s event hosted by the United States Ambassador to the Kingom of Morocco, Mr. Dwight Bush, in his Rabat home, Villa America, where a reception was held to celebrate the human development work of the High Atlas Foundation

Ecological Footprint and Capacity-Building

November 13, 2015 The Ecological Footprint can be thought of as a tool for measurement and communication used to track human demand on the Earth’s natural resource flows. The Ecological Footprint, for example, – enables definition of sustainability in specific and measurable terms (which is ultimately determined by not just    environmental but also economic, social,

High Atlas Foundation Joins the #Givingtuesday Movement

Pledging to Fight Poverty and Marginalization in Morocco The High Atlas Foundation has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the

Spanish Translation Volunteers Needed!

Are you passionate about language and interested in expanding your translation skills? HAF is currently looking for a professional or non-professional translator to translate Spanish documents into French and Arabic. Your task will mainly consist of providing translation for walnut processing machine manuals. Please note that this involves rather technical terms. Our volunteers are vital

Why Giving Matters

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF president November 30, 2015 I wonder if we can measure, using a scientific, quantitative methodology, whether, in fact, giving is actually getting. The overwhelming evidence in my life, based on my experiences, based on so many voices I’ve heard, based on ancient and contemporary writing, within poetry, as part of

Figuig: A Troubled Home for Morocco’s Rarest Date Variety

HAF project manager November 27, 2015 The streets of Figuig are quiet and empty. Dusty rose-colored walls stand as dividing sentinels along the roadways of this eastern Moroccan date oasis, empty during this midweek afternoon. There are few roads to Figuig, and they are lonely at this time of year, save for CTM local transport

Eco- and Community-Friendly Development in Cameroon

By Ida Sophie Winter, HAF project manager December 9, 2015 The High Atlas Foundation trains government and civil sector employees in participatory development The High Atlas Foundation, in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Republic of Cameroon and United Nations Development Programme, trained Cameroonian government and civil sector employees in facilitating participatory community development

Reduce Reuse Recycle: Composting in Ourika

By Pommelien da Silva Cosme, HAF intern December 11, 2015 Last week, I was thrilled to attend a compost workshop in Ourika Valley, just 45 minutes out of Marrakech. Eager to learn more about the process and the benefits of composting, I joined some 30 women to learn more about the basic guidelines on how

Morocco: An Investment with Exponential Returns!

By Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF president December 16, 2015 We learn as we live. The High Atlas Foundation has been planting seeds in community-managed nurseries since its birth in 2000. Only this year have we come to learn this simple fact: the people’s seeds are equity, and financial institutions grant and loan to the people’s