On November 13th 2008, U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Thomas Riley and Mrs. Nancy Riley hosted a reception at their residence in Rabat for the High Atlas Foundation. The event officially launched three new partnerships to strategically grow and expand HAF’s objectives to advance community development in Morocco using a participatory approach.
Ambassador and Mrs. Riley and the Board of Directors of HAF were joined by over 100 guests, representing Moroccan government ministries, international aid agencies, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and local communes, and including Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem and His Excellency André Azoulay, a member of HAF’s Advisory Board. The evening marked HAF’s first anniversary of full-time operations in Morocco.
Hassan II University-Mohammedia to create the Center for Community Consensus-Building and Sustainable Development. The mission of the Center is to promote local community participation in the planning and implementation of socio-economic and environmental projects, and build knowledge of sustainable development practices. The Center uses a participatory approach to training where students learn by doing, and have the opportunity to practice facilitation skills in the field.
High Commission of Waters and Forests to develop and implement participatory sustainable development projects with communities neighboring Morocco’s ten national parks and reserves. An innovative aspect of this partnership is the commitment from the High Commission of land to build community tree nurseries, which can significantly help Morocco achieve its fruit tree agriculture potential.
Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) to expand rural economic and social development in the region of Ben-Guerir, while strengthening the local environment. For its pilot project, the High Atlas Foundation will facilitate community meetings with rural villages and assist them with the implementation of community driven development projects. This represents the High Atlas Foundation’s first private sector partnership in Morocco.