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On January 5th at the Al Kairaouane School in Tahanaout, Al Haouz Province, HAF’s staff accompanied the El Kouhen family for the inauguration of the wonderful project Trees for Kids: Sami’s Project, inspired by loving memories of their 3-year-old son Sami who, before losing his battle with cancer 5 years ago, had already shown his love for the outdoors even at such an early age.

Sami’s Project teaches elementary school students the numerous benefits that trees can bring to a community and then trains them in how to plant and maintain trees in their school yards. The eventual fruits of the trees (olive and orange) will benefit the school.

The Al Kairaouane School’s teachers, the Education Ministry’s representative Mr. Abdeljalil Maarouf, Mr. Mohammed Elaarabi El Aiadi (the Pasha), community members, and members of local associations all came together with HAF to join the El Kouhen family in this first planting of trees with schoolchildren. First, Hajja Jamila Agzit (a member of the Friends of Toubkal National Park Association) showed slides as she explained the important role of a tree in preserving the environment. Following several student recitals, HAF’s vice president M. Larbi Didouqen explained Sami’s Project and described the environmental and economic benefits of fruit trees, M. Rachid El Kouhen and his 10-year-old daughter Lina explained their objectives for this project, and then the Pasha joined M. El Kouhen in planting the first tree.

The students were shown how to position, plant and water a tree. They all participated wholeheartedly and cooperatively, forming small groups to plant each tree under the careful guidance of agricultural technicians.

During the afternoon school session, the older students participated in planting more trees, and the planting continued over the next two days until all 300 fruit trees were planted.

As the photos demonstrate, the children worked hard to plant these new trees which will soon transform the empty sections of their schoolyard into a shady, nurturing environment, providing lessons and fruits for many years to come.

We invite you to sponsor Trees for Kids in memory of Sami or another beloved child.

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