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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

Aboghlo Women’s Cooperative and Their Business Partnership

Camelia Harkousse HAF Intern On Monday July 1st, a group of students who are on a conflict resolution and peace-building class at George Mason University (GMU) and their professor, accompanied by HAF President Dr. Yossef and HAF Director of Project Ms. Amina, visited the Aboghlo women’s cooperative in T’nine Ourika. This cooperative could be stated

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

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

Anamer Women‘s Hearts Are Filled with Hope

SANAE BENAADIM HAF VOLUNTEER On the 15th of June, the team left HAF office in Marrakech in the morning toward Anamer village in Seti Fadma commune which is about 55 km out of the Red city. The team included Said El Bennani, HAF’s Project Manager, and Hassan Ait Ouatouch, HAF’s Project Assistant, Ilyas Dkhrissi (social

Moving to the Market: The Future of Setti Fatma

By Touda Bazaz HAF Volunteer On the 15th of June 2019, a group of volunteers and I left the High Atlas Foundation office in Marrakech at 09:00 am to Setti Fatma commune direction in order to participate in some of the activities that the foundation does. Along for the ride was a group of American

Haf’s Commitment to Girls’ Education in Morocco

by Nisreen Abo-Sido HAF Volunteer, Thomas J. Watson Fellow In Morocco, just 26% of girls–in contrast to 79% of boys–residing in rural areas are enrolled in primary school.  Furthermore, rates of school dropout–particularly between primary and secondary school–are 15% higher for rural girls than for boys, and three times higher for rural girls compared to

Ramadan for Environment and Women’s Empowerment in Tassa Ouirgane

By Elouahsoussi Rachid HAF intern On Wednesday the 14th of May, members of the High Atlas Foundation’s team visited Tassa Ouirgane to conduct a women’s empowerment meeting and pay a visit to the foundation’s nursery there. The team consisted of Amina El Hajjami, HAF’s Director of Projects, and Hassan Ait Ouatouch, HAF’s Project Assistant, as

Women’s Impressions on the Last Day of an Empowerment Workshop

By Houria CHOUHAB HAF volunteer One of my favorite activities to attend with HAF facilitators is women’s empowerment workshops. You can notice the difference between the first day and the last day in their behaviors, voices tones, body language, and the sparkle of their eyes. On last Saturday, April 27th, I joined Empowerment Trainer, Ibtissam

We Are in Aboghlou Cooperative!

By Sanae Benaadim HAF Volunteer One month of my volunteer experience at the High Atlas Foundation has already passed! I had my second chance to accompany Amina El Hajjami, Director of Projects, to facilitate a workshop for 29 women of the Aboghlou Cooperative. This two-day workshop took place in the Ourika Valley, which is 30

Rural Women Achieve Their Self-Empowerment in Taalanit Village

By Sanae Benaadim HAF Volunteer On April 4th, HAF and local Moroccan women embarked on a new, exciting adventure!  HAF’s team, including Fatima Zahra Laaribi, Amina El Hajjami, Houria Chouhab, Martine Roberts, and myself, went to Taalanit, a small village located in the Setti Fadma commune of the Al Haouz Province. As we approached the

It Rains Empowerment in Talaint

By Houria CHOUHAB HAF Volunteer On the 4th of April, a team from HAF conducted a four days workshop in Talaint, in the Setti Fatma Commune. It was raining so heavily that we thought women would not attend the workshop, but they proved us wrong when half of the women were already there and the

Helping to Build a Vision for a Better Future

Written by Fatima Zahra Laaribi Financial Manager | Lead Empowerment Trainer To maintain a successful scaling strategy for empowering Moroccan women on a national level, HAF invests in its staff to build their capacities and to expand the organization’s number of facilitators. After the completion of her “observation phase” as an empowerment facilitator apprentice, HAF’s

Sois L’ami De L’environnement !

Clarisse ESPIL                                                                                                                                                                                stagiaire à « High atlas Foundation » Ce mardi 9 avril 2019, la HAF s’est rendue à Tassa Ouirgane, une commune qui se situe dans les montagnes de l’Atlas à 90 kilomètres de Marrakech afin d’y réaliser une activité sous le thème de l’environnement.  Le but de cette visite en partenariat avec le Programme

Songs, Smiles, and Other Things to Say Goodbye

Fatima Zahra LAHRIRE HAF Volunteer Today is the third day of the training. We can associate not only the faces with the names but also the faces with the voices. We develop the habit of meeting them first thing in the morning before the workshop and the last thing before we sleep. We had our

The Journey of Agerzrane’s Local Population to Greater Light

Fatima Zahra LAHRIRE HAF Volunteer We started our day with a traditional breakfast prepared by the family hosting us. We could hear the voices of the girls coming from early morning to participate in the workshop. They have power and it is quite profound. A power that allowed them to survive all the difficulties the

The Stones of Agerzrane Village Succeed to Break the Silence (Part 1 of 3)

Fatima Zahra LAHRIRE HAF Volunteer We are now in the Tifnoute Valley of the High Atlas Mountains after a long journey. It was a cold morning, and the snowy mountains reminded of the stormy night of yesterday. It was a crisp and cloudy but the radiant smile upon the faces of the people who came

Women Between the past and the Present in Akrich Region

Houria Chouhab HAF Volunteer On Women’s International Day, the High Atlas Foundation visited the Association Assalam for Development in Douar Achbarou. This village is located in the Rural Commune of Tameslouht, which is only 20 kms away from Marrakech. Beforehand, the activities in this association were run by men only, but since last October, women

International Women’s Day-a Call for a Gender-Balanced World

Today on March 8 is International Women’s Day! This day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported

Meeting the Women from the Aboghlou Cooperative in Ourika

by Celina Böhmer HAF intern The weather is getting warmer here in Morocco. The sun is shining the whole day and providing us warmth. Yesterday, HAF project director Amina El Hajjami and I went to visit the Aboghlou Cooperative in Ourika. HAF began working with the women in 2015/16, using a participatory approach and training

The Compounding Benefits of Women’s Empowerment

by Fatima Zahra Laaribi Women’s Empowerment Lead Trainer High Atlas Foundation From February 2016 to the present, 467 women participated in the four-day empowerment workshop conducted by High Atlas Foundation. HAF has achieved this in partnership with the Empowerment Institute, Middle East Partnership Initiative, National Endowment for Democracy, Intrepid Foundation, FRE Skincare and other groups

The Moroccan Schools as Bridge to the Communities

The beauty of Morocco exists not only in the big cities but also in the charming villages of the countryside. Many villages and residential communities are scattered along the Atlas Mountain range, from the south-west of the country to the far east, and the activities vary from one region to the other. Nevertheless, they share

Cooperative Development – It Takes a Village

Case study of the Aboghlou Womens Coopertaive, Ourika It is a sunny Thursday afternoon as Amina El Hajjami, Projects Director at the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), and I drive out of Marrakech towards Ourika in Al Haouz Province, just one hour away. We are visiting the Aboghlou Women’s Cooperative in a small shopfront where 32

Rural and Urban Economic Development Through Women’s Empowerment

By Eliana Lisuzzo HAF Project Assistant The High Atlas Foundation (HAF)—headed by a distinguished Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and operational team of both Moroccans and Americans—is a U.S. and Moroccan 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was created by former Peace Corps Volunteers in 2000. HAF facilitates and builds people’s capacities in participatory democratic approaches to

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