by Mustapha Tarhbaloute
At the beginning of November 2021, I joined the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), which organized a week of training for youth development in cooperation with the United States Forestry Service. We received information about the participatory approach and its characteristics and how it can affect community members by creating progress and improving their lives. We were grateful to Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, HAF President, who shared with us those methods that bring people together by using the participatory approach. This personally opened me to a new version of development and trying to be useful toward any community to show them how to be creative and to help them somehow. This theoretical way led us to be in the field with the HAF nursery caretakers in different places.
Once in the field I felt that I belonged to nature and the soil. I learned how to plant, to irrigate, and to protect the plants. All we learned was part of what we call sustainable development. HAF tries to have an impact on every single person in the society (women, men, children) by showing them the importance of planting trees to improve their incomes, to not discriminate against others, and to encourage them to pass it onto the next generations.
The second part of the training was on December 8, when Dr. Ben-Meir asked me to join the Soil to Sky Webinar as part of the Kiss the Ground meeting. The meeting was about the soil, nature, water, and the relationship between these and human beings, especially as humans can affect the uses of water resources. This was my first time meeting with a global team and different people from different countries around the world; joining HAF has had a great impact on my career.
The host Mm Ba Minuzzi and guests Mr. Doug Willmore, Mr. Ryland Engelhart, and Mr. Adrian Grenier shared their experiences with the land and soil in relation to the farmers’ market. Those farmers all over the world who are still suffering from deprivation need to be supported.
According to them, money is a tool for building a good life on the planet, raising awareness of the importance of soil and protecting the land and water from pollution. They shared with us references to a group of organizations to learn more about protecting the soil and nature in general.