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From Zero to Hero: How HAF’s Training Series Empowered Dakhla Municipality’s Community

byCheikh Akmach
onAugust 20, 2023

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF), in partnership with the Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative (MEPI), embarked on a six-day training series with local civil society organizations (CSOs), for the sole purpose of inspiring and empowering the different members of the community.

This immersive training covered an array of topics, ranging from social entrepreneurship to digital marketing and project management, offering a toolkit for change. The training commenced by diving into social entrepreneurship through telling numerous captivating stories, as well as historical insights.

They delved into the qualities that define successful social entrepreneurs, discovering the importance of resilience, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of their vision.

Challenges were acknowledged, not as stumbling blocks, but as stepping stones for growth and opportunity.

Seed funding opportunities took the center stage as the training progressed. The participants learned the importance of balance between financing and realization.

Through candid discussions and reflective exercises, the participants gained a profound understanding of the critical factors that contribute to the success of funded projects.

The room brimmed with a renewed sense of purpose, as each participant envisioned their own initiatives, fueled by the possibility of securing the resources needed to turn their dreams into reality.

But it was not just about individual pursuits; the next training was about civic engagement which infused the training with a spirit of collective action.

The trainer posed a simple yet thought-provoking question: "How can I participate as a social/civic activist in developing my region or city?"

Animated discussions and impassioned debates followed, as participants explored the challenges and opportunities they face in the region. The inclusion of women in journalism, tree planting and awareness campaigns, and the pressing issue of water supply sparked heated conversations that shed light on the diverse perspectives and urgent needs of the community.


Participants discussing the challenges of the region during the civic engagement training. Credits: Cheikh Akmach/HAF

The next training covered the topic of digital marketing, making it an interesting topic for discussion. The participants eagerly absorbed the fundamentals of leveraging digital platforms to amplify their social impact.

From the intricacies of social media to the art of content creation, they learned more about how to harness the power of the virtual realm to raise awareness, engage stakeholders and increase the impact of their projects.

However, amidst the excitement, we noticed that some participants were facing challenges due to limited access to education and familiarity with new technologies, highlighting the need for tailored support to bridge the digital divide.

Next, project design emerged as a critical pillar of the training, providing a roadmap for turning ideas into tangible projects.


Part of project design training. Credits: Cheikh Akmach/HAF

The participants embarked on a journey of exploration, identifying problems, assessing needs, and setting goals. With guidance from seasoned facilitators, they learned the art of crafting project proposals and defining objectives, activities, and budgets. The participants immersed themselves in progress monitoring, risk management, and outcome evaluation. They absorbed best practices and practical techniques.


Participants were given certifications at the end of the training. Credits: Cheikh Akmach/HAF

And thus the curtains were closed for this event. HAF remains dedicated to local initiatives that community beneficiaries determine and manage by working on promoting sustainable agriculture, education, women’s and youth empowerment, and capacity-building.