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Linking Psychosocial Empowerment and Water Infrastructure

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byYossef Ben-Meir
onDecember 21, 2023

Thank you everyone again for your collaboration to help bring relief and opportunity with communities severely hurt by the September 8 earthquake.

There is a direct link between psychosocial empowerment (or our “Imagine” methodology) and the rebuilding of water infrastructure. In order to reach the point of visualizing a productive future ahead, the psychosocial sessions, as you know, help people express and develop tools to manage the trauma associated with the pain of loss. The sessions in their initial phases over the four days focus heavily on the emotional component of healing and strengthening social relationships, which is essential to this process. What follows is the consideration of new opportunities or ones that have been long-held with a new determination to achieve the self-described goals of the participants. We know that water for both drinking and irrigation has been and remains the very top priority of these communities and are critical projects for sustainable rebuilding and for different forms of resilience. By working with women, these water projects will be of direct benefit, supporting their agricultural objectives as well as maximizing the range of benefits associated with clean drinking water and delivery systems.

The women will be fully integrated into the management of the water systems for both clean drinking and irrigation water, which in turn strengthens their associations and cooperatives due to the training and the capacities needed for the system’s management as well as collectively managing the new revenue that is generated by the agricultural activities supported by the new irrigation infrastructure.

It is important to note that we have known since 2016, when we began Imagine’s facilitation, that there are trauma healing benefits (prior to September 8, usually in the context of domestic conflict). For us, the approach is vitally essential because it is the centerpiece of our strategy for achieving sustainable development. HAF ultimately seeks projects determined and managed by local communities, and this empowerment methodology which is about personal and collective exploration and confidence building, leads to the outcome of development identified and managed locally.

We sincerely hope to continue working together for the benefit of Moroccan communities.

Yossef Ben-Meir

President, High Atlas Foundation