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Taking a Leap: The Risk of Development, on a Human Level

– Taking a Leap: The risk of development, on a human level, Scoop World, By Sarita Mehta (HAF Intern), 17 July 2019. • Arabic: Al-Watan Voice, 23 July 2019. As a child, I frequently remember many lazy summer days spent lugging my purple Huffy bike up the cement dunes of my suburban neighborhood. Following the parade of my two older

A Face to a Name, a Name to a Story

HAF Intern, UVA student She stands out in my memory as the most beautiful girl in the room. Her eyes bright with desire and friendship. She wore bold jewelry–a big ring and matching necklace. She was silly and wanted to talk and take pictures. She ran down to the creek first and asked me to

Bottom-up and Top-Down

HAF Intern, UVA student Something I have been thinking about is the relationship between top-down and bottom-up development. Community-led, participatory development plays an undeniably important role in global development within economic, political, and social spheres. I’ve seen HAF initiate local economic development through cooperative building and agricultural support for rural farmers; grassroots political movements can

Brighter than a Lighthouse

HAF Intern, UVA Student I went to Ait Ourir, a city about 30 minutes outside of Marrakech to visit the Riad school. The school is surrounded by a six-foot wall that is covered by murals mainly pertaining to environmental issues. The school currently has 1,222 students, with boys and girls ages 5-12 years old, 480

Empowered Women Empower Women

HAF Intern, UVA Student This week was spent with young Moroccan women at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech in the Imagine Women’s Empowerment workshop. The attendees were mainly University of Virginia students, me, and 5-7 Marrakech University students, and it was very powerful to witness the evolution of the confidence and comfort level among the

Imagining a Clear Journey

This week we took part in the four day IMAGINE workshop at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech, with a small group of Moroccan students. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the sessions at the beginning, since there were so many different experiences in the room. Having led and participated in women’s empowerment workshops at

Learning to Imagine

I didn’t think I would need to learn how to imagine at the Imagine workshops this week, but a rerouting and adjustment of my own mind became necessary. I am a pro at these workshops; engagement, listening, asking questions, empowerment. I mean I lead these activities for girls through my sorority, class service, and even

“imagine” women’s empowerment four-day workshop at cadi ayyad university (with uca and uva women students)

HAF Intern This week was all about women empowerment, we had a women’s workshop for four days and it was my first time to experience it. I did not know what to expect and how it will turn out… The workshop was led by HAF empowerment trainers – Amina El Hajjami, Fatima Zahra Laaribi and

My Development, Without Limits

HAF Intern, UVA student SCATTERED. For the past week, I’ve been trying to put into words, or just one word, what the four-day women’s empowerment workshop meant to me and I feel scattered just trying. All at once, the workshop was challenging, easy, meditative, analytical, goal-oriented, present-focused, relaxing, irritating, draining, and energizing. I’ve written down

Hidden Gems: The Meaning of Cooperatives on July 6th

– The Hidden Gems of Morocco, The Daily Angle, By Sarita Mehta (HAF Intern), 19 July 2019. • Arabic: Al-Watan Voice, 11 July 2019. How cooperatives may be a key factor in social and economic empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa To many people, this coming July 6 marks the passing of another Saturday. But to over 1

Hopeful Futures, Caleb Tisdale, 1 July 2019

Some of the kids want to travel the world. Some of the kids want to start a business. One kid wants to play soccer AND own a bakery. These are lofty and ambitious goals for juvenile delinquents. But not for the boys at the Center for the Protection of Children in Fes. At this center,

The Door Is Always Open

HAF Intern, University of Virginia The door is always open at the High Atlas Foundation. Often, it is literally open in an attempt to generate some airflow in the office. It is also open in the sense that people are constantly going in and out. My friend Shermeen says it’s like a talk show and

An Eloquent Mutual Intercultural Partnership

HAF Intern On a hot sunny day of May 30, 2019, the group accompanied by Errachid Montassir and Amina El Hajjami, left HAF Office in Marrakech by 9 o’clock in the morning, towards the Amazigh village of Akrich. The drive took about 30 min to get to the village. The first site visited was the

What It Takes to Build a Nursery: Anya Karaman, Week 1

ABOUT TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AGO, I planted a tree. It was already taller than the other tree sprouts lined up next to it, looking like the leader of a small pack of children, still a child itself. I bent down and carefully grabbed it, brought it back to the freshly dug square hole in the ground,

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