The past year has been truly transformative for the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and the rural communities with whom we partner.
We would like to share with you some of the highlights of what we have accomplished during 2008 with the help of our partners and supporters:
- Hired the organization’s first Country Director and established a HAF headquarters in Morocco.
- Planted 41,000 fruit trees with twenty-four villages in three provinces. Since 2003 HAF has planted nearly 150,000 fruit trees, benefitting over 23,000 people.
- Initiated potable water projects in partnership with GlobalGiving and the Mosaic Foundation, to bring clean drinking water to five villages (1,600 people).
- Facilitated forty community meetings with twenty villages in two valleys, to help local people evaluate past projects and identify future opportunities for socio-economic development.
- Evaluated the Kate Jeans-Gail Memorial Tree Nursery; planted two years ago, the apple and cherry tree saplings are now ready to distribute to twenty-five villages.
- Established a training center in partnership with Hassan II University-Mohammedia – the Center for Community Consensus-Building and Sustainable Development – to train students and community leaders in facilitating participatory planning activities.
- Partnered with the Office Chérifien des Phosphates to promote rural economic and social development in the Ben-Guerir region.
- Expanded HAF’s participatory development model by partnering with Morocco’s High Commission of Waters and Forests to assist communities that neighbor Morocco’s national parks and reserves in order to advance socio-economic development and the conservation of natural resources.
- Hosted three receptions to announce HAF’s newest projects and partnerships, collectively attended by over 300 people; receptions were held in Rabat at the residence of US Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Riley, attended by HRH Princess Lalla Meryem, sister to HM the King of Morocco; New York City (HAF’s fourth annual NYC reception); and Bethesda, MD, at the residence of Moroccan Ambassador to the US, H.E. Aziz Mekouar.
- Launched a new website to more effectively communicate with you, complete with a blog and regular updates from the field.
- Joined the memberships of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), and American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco (AmCham) to more effectively reach out to key constituencies.
Leveraging the successes of the past year, HAF’s 2009 goals include:
Plant a community tree nursery of 50,000 walnut saplings, benefitting 10,000 people in forty-four villages, increasing household incomes by at least 200 percent in eight years.
Implement projects in irrigation, clean drinking water, and fruit tree planting – projects that are community designed and initiated, with community contribution of labor.
Construct a cooperative to benefit five villages, approximately 200 girls and women, allowing them to pursue income generating projects, literacy classes, and much more.
Facilitate community meetings with up to 100 villages – including sixty new partner villages – helping local communities prioritize development projects while simultaneously introducing key partners to ensure project success.
Transfer important technical skills in fruit tree agriculture to farmers in over fifty villages.
Train up to fifty university students in participatory development; we will hold a pilot training workshop on January 20th with twenty students at Hassan II University-Mohammedia and expand this training to include an intensive six month fellowship program.
Collaborate with local associations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations to more effectively design, implement, and manage projects with local communities.
Launch a “teacher toolkit” based on HAF’s One Million Tree Campaign; adaptable for grades 1-6 the toolkit will introduce students to Moroccan culture and geography, environmental issues, and volunteerism; students will have the opportunity to raise funds to plant trees in Morocco and plant a sister tree in their own community.
With you help we do make a difference in the lives of thousands of Moroccan families!