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...
Jan 14, 2013

Bringing in the Experts to Optimize the Source

Near the Source
Near the Source

The project is moving forward, thanks to your generous support. Last cycle’s donations have paid for a visit to the area of the water source for this irrigation and clean water source with a hydraulic expert and an expert related to water resource management in Morocco. This visit is necessary for two reasons: it will provide the information for the study needed to apply for implementation. It will also give a technical assessment in regard to implementation (whether we need an open or closed canal, piping size, and pipe material, whether cement or plastic). After this crucial analysis, we will be able to clearly project of the implementation timetable.

Historically, the water source’s ownership was disputed between a few villages of the commune. Thanks to our intervention and full community meetings, the benefiting 14 villages in the Toubkal region are in agreement with the water-sharing schedule for implementation.

Your donations really make a difference. Not only are villages in the commune working together for the same beneficial cause, but also clean water will impact all of their lives positively for years to come. Irrigating this rocky terrain will enable the growth of walnut and almond trees that will yield crops to support the livelihoods of families in the community. 

Help us keep this project moving forward! We are so very grateful for your support.

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Jan 7, 2013

50,000 Trees Planted, but Plenty of Room to Grow!

Visual of anticipated new nursery
Visual of anticipated new nursery

We are pleased to report the great success we've had in planting high quality and productive trees in Tadmamt, thanks to you! A total of 30,000 Walnut trees have been successfully grafted and planted, with an additional 20,000 cherry trees over the past year.  

The walnut trees came from healthy transplants of two varieties of Bulgaria Walnut (Dryanovo and Chyanovo, that inhabit the lands of Tadmamt). The rootstock from the nut trees adapted to the local environmental conditions rapidly, producing high quality nuts and early production. 

This project is based on the fundamental principles of the `National Development Initiative Humans (NHRI) and of the High Atlas Foundation. Planting trees doesn't just mean crop, shade and commodity. It means empowering local stakeholders to care for their land, take control of their livelihood and plan for a better future. Dividing the land terraces, building irrigation systems, nurserys and planting was conducted in partnership and consultation with all concerned citizens. They have taken part in true sustainable development of their land. 

While we've reached our target goal, we plan to continue to rehabilitate and cultivation five to seven terraces, construct the basin of accumulation of water and to install drip irrigation system to preserve water supply. 

There is always more to be done in this incredibly impoverished (both financially and resource-wise) land. With your support, an additional 50,000 walnut trees will be planted in a new extension (see below) giving life to the region in so many ways. 

Anticipated dimensions of new extension
Anticipated dimensions of new extension
Jan 7, 2013

Co-op Establishes Rules and Operations for members

The Women of the COOP
The Women of the COOP

On Tuesday 20th November, Hassna Ait Hassou, HAF's community leader from Tassa Ouirgane, conducted a community meeting with the women of her Douar (village) concerning the rules they will adopt to manage their association. Hassna has been trained by the High Atlas Foundation's staff to lead meetings through participatory development methods. She is transmitting these skills to members of the Tassa Ouirgane Co-op to encourage autonomy and self-governance. 

Based on Hassna’ reflection, the day was very powerful because the community women showed that they were prepared to start to learn new skills to raise income in order to help their families and themselves. Hassna conveyed that during her meeting with the women, she ensured their full participation while creating norms by which they will manage their association. They went over the basic laws of the association to clarify the goals of the association. Through discussion, the women established the following rules:

  • The adherents should have identity card to be a member of the association.
  • All priorities of the association should pertain to the local club.
  • It‘s forbidden for any woman to bring her child with her to maintain an appropriate environment for work.
  • Respect the scheduled time.
  • Schedule will be from 2 pm to 6pm.
  • Divide the women into two groups if they are so many.
  • The first group will attend from 2pm to 4pm.
  • The second groups will attend from 4pm to 6pm. In case they are more, they will have another group from 10 am to 12am.
  • Every two women will share one machine and work together.

Association’s profits:

Here are the rules on how the profits of Tassa Ouirgane women’s association will be distributed: 

  • Set a meeting to discuss if the association needs any materials or no.
  • Once they provide the materials needed for the association, the remaining amount of money will be distributed between the adherents (those who are learning new skills at the Nadi ).
  • If the amount is less, it will be remained in the association account box for the association related materials.

Thank you so much to our supporters for providing these amazing women with the opportunity to organize and produce income for themselves. Their eagerness and committment is inspiring and apparent. More to come...

Women debating the by-laws
Women debating the by-laws
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