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An In-Hand and Far-out Achievement for 2015

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byHigh Atlas Foundation
onSeptember 23, 2018

An In-Hand and Far-Out Achievement for 2015

A Letter from HAF’s President

Veuillez cliquer ici pour la version française الرجاء الضغط هنا للحصول على النسخة العربية

Dear Friends,

From all of us at the High Atlas Foundation, we extend best wishes for health and all good things.

Morocco’s model for human development creates enormous possibility for our participatory approach and organic agricultural value-chain, and for the entire region.

I am excited to share this letter that describes our current state of work, and our vision ahead of what we can achieve in 2015.

The High Atlas Foundation also most humbly invites you to one or more symbolic tree planting ceremonies proposed for this planting season starting in January.

Agriculturally, we assist communities currently in eight provinces of Morocco as they plant nurseries, secure organic certification, build cooperatives, benefit from training and create partnerships enabling processing and delivery of product to the global market.

We are engaged in all aspects of the value-chain – and we can report that it works with great results. We are so very grateful to our incredible partners.

In 2014, HAF created the social enterprise High Atlas Agriculture and Artisanal, or HA3, to assist sales, return net profits as dividends to farmers and reinvest in development projects identified and managed by local communities (such as in health, education, water efficiency, and youth and women’s initiatives). The HAF-HA3 partnership amplifies the green economy that fuels participatory development.

HAF entered into partnerships with the High Commission of Waters and Forests, municipalities, schools, universities, associations (including the Jewish community of Morocco), cooperatives and families – all have lent land for at least five years to establish community tree nurseries.

Starting from next month, we are scheduled to export to the United States 14 tons of organic certified walnuts from the High Atlas Mountains. In January 2014, HAF planted its one millionth seed in Morocco. With our full value chain is in place, we may – Insha’Allah – achieve much greater scale.

Funding for this initiative will create short and long-term self-reliant development for Moroccan rural families, areas where poverty is most concentrated. We could now implement with partners in 14 provinces, listed here: Azilal, Boujdour, El Haouz, Errachidia, Essaouira, Figuig, Ifrane, Khenifra, Mohammedia, Oujda, Rhamna, Taroudant, Taza, and Tetouan.

In 2015, HAF and communities propose that together we plant a total of four million seeds and saplings of 12 types of fruit trees and more than 20 aromatic plant varieties – all of which may receive internationally recognized organic certification.This can be achieved at a total cost of $2.5 million, with a resulting direct impact on 200,000 rural inhabitants and an indirect one benefiting a further 40,000.

Since 2000, HAF has raised $2.5 million and has implemented multi-sectoral Moroccan human development projects. We we can achieve this amount again but in 1 year – with the culmination of every gesture of giving and the manifesting good of one tree at a time.

In light of these exciting and monumental developments, and the need to have a brand/logo for HA3, we decided to improve the HAF image and bring our logo in line with the developments and progress being made. Therefore, as you can see, we have a new logo that embraces what HAF stands for “Developing a self-sustaining future for Morocco.”

Finally, it would be our great pleasure if you were to participate at one or several tree planting ceremonies with dates starting in January 2015 held under HAF auspices together with its community partners. We kindly suggest the following possibilities:

  • Azilal (Ait M’hamed and Ouaouizerth communes) – with schools and women’s cooperatives with whom they built their first nurseries this last season;
  • Boujdour – with schools with whom we are implementing a drinking water and hygiene project;
  • El Haouz – with communities in the Asni commune with whom we process organic product and where we have built nurseries in three communes and plant with schools;
  • Essaouira – where we preserved the cemeteries of the three faiths, supported cooperative buildingand planted with rural schools;
  • Ifrane – together with Al Akhawayn University which, with HAF, lends land for a community nursery and supports student-community engagement;
  • Mohammedia – training with university students, CSOs, elected leaders and local people in partnership with the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Science with whom HAF established their joint-initiative, the Center for Community Consensus-Building and Sustainable Development;
  • Oujda – with high school and university youth;
  • Rhamna (Ait Taleb commune) – where we have built and planted with schools and implemented community olive orchards and drinking water projects;
  • Taroudant (Toubkal commune) – the pilot site for organic certification, where, utilizing participatory planning methodology, we trained in and facilitated creating the municipal development plan and implemented nurseries and clean water projects; and
  • Taza – with communities that neighbor Tazekka and youth.

We hope with all our heart that we may receive your support to plant this season. Every dollar enabled HAF to plant its first million trees. Further, your presence at one or more communal ceremonies would give inspiration.

I remain sincerely yours,
Yossef Ben-Meir, PhD

High Atlas Foundation

PS: I’d like to quickly share some articles I wrote about human development in Morocco and in the region. I also hope to hear from you.
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