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. HAF's 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...
Oct 1, 2014

Building sustainable nurseries

Participatory planning in Essaouira
Participatory planning in Essaouira

Dear Friend,

Good day and we hope all is well from the team here at the High Atlas Foundation.

Today, I'd like to share with you a specific update for the nursery development in the Essaouira Province.

The key to sustainability has been the participatory planning approach, which thanks to funding from the National Endowment for Democracy has replicated in Essaouira. This training will make your contributions to the organic fruit tree and medicinal herb nurseries all the more important as it will ensure that there are people capable of managing and developing the nurseries you help build.

The aims of this project are to train 5 local people to be trainers in participatory approaches; creation and management of cooperatives; organic agriculture; project implementation and evaluation and participatory data collection. These 5 people will then go into the field to engage local association and cooperative members, elected women and community leaders in these techniques and subjects with a view to supporting further human development in Essaouira Province. Specifically, we hope this project will underpin the functions of the Cooperative Amoud Mogador – the creation of which HAF has facilitated – and the organic tree and plant nursery HAF plans to create in partnership with the coop, ultimately creating greater linkages and dynamism in local civil society. With the networks and capacities built through this training program, we hope to identify local projects and partnerships for future funding through the income generated by the Amoud Mogador Cooperative and HAF’s social enterprise, HA3.

The pictures below are from the September 27-28 workshop where the trainees learned about the Communal Charter and how to proactively intervene in its creation in order to promote local human development. Their trainer was Mr Mustapha Neflous of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council (CNDH).

Here at the High Atlas Foundation we would like to thank you for your continuous support which is critical to building sustainable development. We look forward to providing you with further updates and hearing your ideas for sustainable development.

Kind regards,

Jacqueline 

The trainer - Mr Mustapha Neflous of CNDH
The trainer - Mr Mustapha Neflous of CNDH

Links:

Oct 1, 2014

Agricultural Irrigation Systems Update

HAF nuts will soon be in the market
HAF nuts will soon be in the market

Good day and we hope all is well from the team here at the High Atlas Foundation.

As some of you may know, it is currently the nut harvest. What does that mean for the HAF team? It means we’re busy in the field, coordinating with local farmers, ensuring organic practices are upheld, setting-up the processing machines and getting ready to buy our first batch of organic nut product.

With this harvest, the HAF and its social enterprise HA3 teams are working to complete the first ever purchase, processing and sale of organic certified walnuts and almonds. Organic certification has been secured and initial funding is available. Negotiations are underway with the Atlas farmers. Once product is obtained, it will be cleaned, packaged and shipped to the US.

This is a very exciting and pivotal time for HAF, HA3 and most importantly the thousands of Moroccans this initiative will benefit. These organic, fair-trade, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible products will empower rural Moroccans while simultaneously improving their access to clean drinking water and education through reinvestment.

The irrigation systems project is especially pertinent to the progress of HA3 as without proper water resource management, progress is reduced, or worse, harm could be done. Water management is the most essential portion of the food value chain that HAF and HA3 are facilitating farmers to capitalize upon. It is crucial that proper water management be developed in each and every nursery or orchard, which currently remains to be completed.

High Atlas Agricultural and Artisanal (HA3) partners with farmers across Morocco to transform its agricultural system.  Through replacing subsistence farming with a green economy—training farmers in organic agricultural methods and providing the infrastructure needed for this transition—HA3 lifts farmers out of poverty and paves the way for sustainable development.

Sep 30, 2014

Clean Energy Briquette Production Update

HAF nuts will soon be in the market
HAF nuts will soon be in the market

As the nut harvest is coming to a peak, the HAF and HA3 teams are currently working on implementing the first ever purchase, processing and sale of organic certified walnuts and almonds. Organic certification has been secured and initial funding is available. Negotiations are underway with the Atlas farmers. Once product is obtained, it will be cleaned, packaged and shipped to the US.

HAF aims to acquire the agricultural waste from this harvest and uphold its zero waste commitment. Further updates following the harvest will be provided, once available. 

Additional background information for further details:

High Atlas Agricultural and Artisanal (HA3) partners with farmers across Morocco to transform its agricultural system.  Through replacing subsistence farming with a green economy—training farmers in organic agricultural methods and providing the infrastructure needed for this transition—HA3 lifts farmers out of poverty and paves the way for sustainable development.

The clean energy briquettes are a vital component to forging a green economy and embody HA3’s commitment to no waste.  Converting agricultural waste such as walnut husks, fallen leaves, and sawdust, into briquettes provides rural households alternative sources for energy other than wood. Using the provinces of Al Houaz and Taroudant to implement pilot programs, HA3 teaches local farmers how to recycle materials so that they, in turn, can produce briquettes that can be used in the local communities as well as sold in both the national as well as international markets.

Additionally, the versatility in ingredients used to construct the briquettes enables the project to easily be adopted across Morocco’s differing landscapes.  Here are some the project’s impacts:

1  Reduction in household pollution

2  Decrease in agricultural waste

3  Prevention and reduction of deforestation

4  Increases rural entrepreneurship

5  Diversification of income

6  Augments young girls school attendance as they are often the ones fetching wood 

Thanks to your partnership HAF has been able to foster sustainable development and make notable progress towards transforming rural Morocco into a zero waste society.

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