By Eliana Lisuzzo
HAF Program Assistant
Just as every other nation in the world, Morocco faces consequences of climate change including higher temperatures, more extreme weather conditions, and rising sea levels due to the human population’s collective treatment of our earth. Morocco particularly struggles with waste management and rising urban air pollution. Without implementing preventative measures, the country’s ecosystem, agriculture, and economic activity will be severely impacted.
Citizens throughout Morocco, like many others around the world, are therefore educating themselves about how human actions are threatening our world, climate change and its detrimental effects, as well as different methods of environmental protection. As a result, many are inclined to educate their peers in hopes of spreading awareness and inspiring them to do the same.
On 4/26/18, students at the Lycée Collegial Guemassa in the Chichaoua province did just that. In conjunction with the celebration of Earth Day earlier in the week, students organized presentations, workshops, and projects regarding a variety of topics including climate change, recycling, sustainable energy, and innovative agricultural methods, such as electric irrigation techniques, for their peers and provincial delegates. Thanks to an invitation extended by the director of Chichaoua’s Delegation of Education, Mr. BrahimAlmaadri,HAF staff members ErrachidMontassir and Eliana Lisuzzo were also able to attend the event. Mr. Almaadrimade it clear that it was a very selective process in choosing which school would host the event, and the Lycée Collegial Guemassa more than deserved the honor.
After our welcoming, we moved from classroom to classroom where students taught us about their selected topic in various ways. A few examples include: One student created a PowerPoint presentation to share his findings on climate change; other students showed us creative ways in which to recycle waste such as by crafting decorative pieces or even by making useful home good items including containers and rugs; and two girls impressively created a display showcasing the process of irrigation powered by electricity and explained its benefits as a useful agricultural technique. There were many more impressive projects and presentations made by the students. What we witnessed was not only the hard work, resourcefulness, and intelligence of Guemassa’s youth, but also their passion for the environment and preventing further damage to our home.
To conclude the event, the school’s principal, Mr. Almaadri, Errachid, and Eliana took part in planting the first of 50 fruit trees in front of Lycée Collegial Guemassa. HAF has previously planted833 almond trees, 223 pomegranate trees, and 124 fig trees with schools in the Chichaoua province as part of our nursery program.
It was a great day full of education and celebration—of our earth, Moroccan youth, and relationships, including the partnership between HAF and Chichaoua communities, and how we can all continuously work together to positively impact the environment.