High Atlas Foundation

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is a Moroccan association and a U.S. 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 2000 by former Peace Corps Volunteers, and is dedicated to participatory grassroots human development in disadvantaged areas in Morocco, mostly rural. HAF received United Nations Special Consultative Status in 2011. HAFas team is comprised mostly of Moroccans with some international members. Using a participatory approach, HAF works to establish development projects in Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies. HAF is committed to facilitating, and training facilitators in, the participatory approac...
Mar 17, 2014

Interfaith Collaboration at HAF's "1 Million Trees" Planting Celebration

On January 16, 2014 the High Atlas Foundation celebrated the planting of one million trees by planting on 43 sites all over Morocco.  The tree nursery in Akraich was a special site where Muslim and Jewish communities came together to break ground and cultivate trees in the spirit of openness that has characterized Morocco’s unique history of multicultural cohabitation.  The Akraich nursery is build on land owned by Marrakech’s Jewish community and is an important pilgrimage site where the Jewish saint Raphael HaCohen is buried.

Marrakech’s Jewish community leaders came together with the Muslim villagers of Akraich to share lunch and discuss the importance of the tree planting thorughout Morocco, and the interfaith partnerships that support this goal. The Akraich partnership, initiated by HAF and made possible by your support of the project, gives rural community members access to agricultural training and increased income through the planting of fruit and nut trees.  

Your generous contributions to HAF and the communities of rural Morocco further the goal of sustainability, which can only be achieved through widespread collaboration and engagement of various partners that allow integration of support networks.  HAF spreads it roots wide and sows them deep. 1,000,000 trees are accompanied by many long, deep roots, which support each other and converge for mutual development.

 

Mar 3, 2014

The Pinnacle of Sami's Project

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and Sami's Project celebrated the planting of HAF's the one millionth tree on January 16, 2014.  HAF was honored to have Dr. Rachid El Kouhen, the impetus of Sami's Project, present for this joyous occasion that celebrated the too-short life of Dr. El Kouhen's son, Sami, and a greener future for Moroccans.  Sami's project honors Sami El Kouhen, who illustrated a love of the outdoors before succumming to cancer at the young age of three.  Sami's memory is evoked by the planting of trees by elementary school-aged children to bring sustainable and transformational benefits to Morocco.

On January 16th, Dr. El Kouhen represented Sami's family to share in the celebration of the 1 Million Tree Campaign and Sami's Project.  With HAF Program Director Malika Kassi, Dr. El Kouhen planted trees with students of five schools and explained to the students the importance of protecting their trees. School children at 43 locations around Morocco planted trees and took part in lessons about environmental preservation.  Dr. El Kouhen also visited a local association women's association to learn from the women about the issues they are faced with and the goals of the association. 

Looking to the future, Dr. El Kouhen imagines the young participants of Sami's Project growing up alongside the trees they planted, which was made possible by the kindness of donors all over the world.  He hopes that they will be proud of their hard work and of the impact upon their community and Morocco as a whole.  The gift of trees to the youth of rural Morocco provides an important development tool to encourage responsible stewardship for coming generations.  The planting of HAF's one-millionth tree was an important and joyous day for HAF and the El Kouhen family, but Sami's father considers every tree planted as a pinnacle of the project.

HAF and the El Kouhen family are thankful to the support of so many contributions that have helped this project thrive and grow.  Now that HAF has planted one million trees, we look to planting one billion trees so that thousands of young people may benefit from Sami's project and his legacy.

Feb 26, 2014

Updates from the Training Center

Thanks to your generous support, the training center has engaged over 300 students and civil society organizers in trainings and workshops this past quarter! 

Results have shown that the capcity building program is making a significant contribution to improving local democracy, accountibility, and inclusiveness. This project is enabling the local population and their organizations to cooperate and coordinate in development management and good governance. These positive outcomes were reflected by improved advocacy on public and private service providers, improved application of checks and balances towards their elected representatives, as well as more efficient and successful implementaiton of community activities and projects. 

10 CSO-government partnerships have been created as a result of this project, enabling the students and local community members to address key social and economic issues, including in new project areas related to monitoring road accidents in zones surrounding primary schools and improving farming practices in the near-by rural areas.

The community members engaged with this training project have donated over 3000 hours of their time to volunteer and participate in community action planning and the implementation of development projects in their neighborhoods. We are so grateful for their dedication!

Your donations allow additional students and civil society organizers to benefit from this capacity building program and workshop sessions held by the High Atlas Foundation. Thank you for your contribution to this cause - empowering Morocco's youth will create sustainable solutions to Morocco's development challenges for a better future. 

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