Visiting Youssoufia’s Schools
By Errachid Montassir
HAF Project manager
On the last Friday before Ramadan, we had a great visit to Youssoufia city.
As usual after every season of planting, HAF goes back to evaluate the situation of the trees, and listens to the stidents as to what they need in their schools.
And this evaluation’s visit is respectively the fourth; after the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaoua and Benguerir.
We first met two very active people – Lmanssouri and Latifa. The are responsible for the « Amal Alghad » Association which is working to bring benefit for rural woman and youth.
Those very kind people showed us the schools and they stayed all the day supporting the evaluation and participatory process.
Between those lovely streets, we arrived at the first school, which is called Sidi Ahmed – a primary school with more than 510 students who welcomed us with their beautiful smiles. Then we met Said the director of the school, with whom we learned more about the Sidi Ahmed School. Afterwards, we visited the area the trees were area.
The wonderful thing is that all the students were involved in taking care of the trees. We engaged the students in a drawing workshop, where they showed us their future ideal school on paper. It was actually quite emontional for everyone, as we identified many needs which we will do all we can to achieve.
And as every last step in our visits with schools, we gave them the certificate to encourage them and spread planting among them and their communities.
The second direction was to the primary school, called Inbiaat, which faces quite a difficult situation, and that did not help the trees to grow in a good environment.
We tried to get information about the school and also we had a long discussion withe the school’s staff about the trees, but sadly many of the trees there died. That is due to many causes, for instance: there is an increased problem with the school’s water infrastructure, including for drinking. We are developing an assessment in order to meet the school’s water needs.
Andalus High School was the third visit, which has 112 female students and 113 male. That means the number of female students is rising (as compared to revious years, including around Morocco), and that’s very wonderful to see the overcoming on challenges and them coming to study.
In the same high school, we met Said who is a teacher and responsible of the environmental club there. He gave us all the information we need to evaluate the trees. All the trees were alive. The school has a very good watering system. The students were involved in taking care of the trees and watering them. All these reasons help the school to become a green and beautiful place.
The last step we had a group picture with the school community, and we gave them the certificate appreciating their efforts.
Before the fifth visit, we went to a middle school called Allal Al Fassi, where we met Lalla Fatiha the director of the school. She just started her mission there a year ago.
At this middle school there is a huge empty space, and Lalla Fatiha suggested to make a nursery in that space.
And that’s exactly our work; HAF is working to create more nurseries and more green spaces around the kingdom. That’s why we had a great discussion with the leader and students of the school about our future collaboration just to make a sustainable nursery there.
Among the most wonderful schools we visited in Youssoufia is a new middle school called, Albanae. We found all the trees in very good condition and they grew taller with green leaves.
The teachers and staff of the school there are very kind. They showed us all the school. There is an excellent boarding school containing all the conditions to let the students be more comfortable, they have a big hall to socialize in.
The moment that I felt close with the students is when we had a discussion in the open air among the green trees. They were so happy to talk to us about the needs of their school. All what they want are books to make their library more meaningful. At the end, we had a such good group, and we gave them their certificate.
The last visit in our day was to a primary school named Alfawarie, which has 60 male students and 59 females. The first thing you can see when you enter into this school is a beautiful garden which has very good almonds and pomegranate trees given from the HAF’s Sami’s Project. The teachers there look very energetic; they water and take care of the trees together with the students.
Also every student took two trees to their home. That spread the culture of planting with families. They are so happy to see the trees growing in front of their eyes.
Before we leave the school the students sang to us very emotional hymns that are in relation to the environment. Then we had a group picture with all of them, and the certificate we gave them is a form of encouraging the students to know the responsibility of taking care of the trees.
Finally, I would like to thank Lmanssori and Latifa and all the school leaders, teachers and students for their warm welcome.
I will go back there with many and different trees next planting season, and work to achieve their other priorities.
Together, we are going to make many green touches around Morocco.