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...
Dec 29, 2014

Fruit Tree Planting Update

The new HAF and HA3 logos
The new HAF and HA3 logos

Dear Friends, 

From all of us at the High Atlas Foundation, we extend best wishes for health and all good things.

The High Atlas Foundation also most humbly invites you to one or more symbolic tree planting ceremonies proposed for this planting season starting in January. 

Agriculturally, we assist communities currently in eight provinces of Morocco as they plant nurseries, secure organic certification, build cooperatives, benefit from training and create partnerships enabling processing and delivery of product to the global market.

We are engaged in all aspects of the value-chain – and we can report that it works with great results. We are so very grateful to our incredible partners.

HAF entered into partnerships with the High Commission of Waters and Forests, municipalities, schools, universities, associations (including the Jewish community of Morocco), cooperatives and families - all have lent land for at least five years to establish community tree nurseries.

Furthermore, HAF and it’s social enterprise HA3 have new logos that embrace what HAF stands for “Developing a self-sustaining future for Morocco.”

You may read more about what accomplishment's HAF and HA3 have achieved here.

May you have a wonderful day and we wish you all the best. 

Kind regards, 

The High Atlas Foundation Team

HA3 workers shelling organic certified walnuts
HA3 workers shelling organic certified walnuts

Links:

Nov 21, 2014

National Endowment for Democracy supports roll out

NED Workshop
NED Workshop

In early 2011, amid large public demonstrations, regional political unrest, and dramatic changes in neighboring states, Morocco initiated a series of reforms to strengthen human rights, democracy, good governance, and economic transparency. The centerpiece was a revision of Morocco’s constitution. The new constitution aims to strengthen the legislature, and judiciary; to promote human rights, women’s equality, and Amazigh cultural rights; and to encourage decentralization.

Despite Morocco’s newly revised constitution and the Government’s commitment to policy reforms for democracy and sustainable development, the degree to which the new constitution represents a significant change depends on the details of constitutional implementation, the degree to which CSOs and political parties effectively leverage the political space and roles accorded to them, and whether they have the capacity and ability to effectively contribute to a genuine democracy.

Participatory research assessments conducted with 140 activists and leaders from 94 CSOs in two urban communes (Mohammedia and Ain Harrouda and four rural communes (Beni Yekhlef, Sidi Moussa Ben Ali, Sidi Moussa Lmajdoub and Chellalat) in the Mohammedia province (conducted in 2012 and 2013 by 130 university students with three members of HAF’s project team), highlight the areas in which there is a need to address the structural challenges, including:1) the lack of full participation in creating Communal Development Plans, 2) the absence of knowledge surrounding the legal framework to advocate for policy reforms, 3) lack of good governance practices within CSOs which is impacting their credibility with their constituents and partners, 4) the lack of capacity to develop effective advocacy strategies and attract funding and support.

The High Atlas Foundation will partner with the National Endowment for Democracy to meet the critical need for the provision of legal services for civil society organizations (CSOs) and marginalized communities and groups, particularly women and youth.

The project will create a sustainable legal aid program (LAP) at the Faculty of Law, Economic and Social Sciences (Faculty) at Hassan II University in Mohammedia, located between Rabat and Casablanca.The participants of a nine month experiential skills-building program will include: a) 20 CSO activists and communal leaders from the Province who will be equipped with legal knowledge, analytic skills, and capacity to plan and manage participatory advocacy strategies leading to legal and political reforms and b) 20 law students who will build their applied skills through providing (with professional supervision) legal counseling and assistance for CSO activists and communities from 6 communes in the Province of Mohammedia.

The project will be done in three phases. The first phase will be coordinating the program, preparing materials, and identifying students, CSO activists and community leaders. After completing phase one participatory planning workshops and legal services will be provided to the students invited to the workshops. The final phase will focus on the implementation of advocacy strategies to address challenges and issues identified over the course of the workshops and post project surveys will be conducted during this phase.

Consensus Building and Sustainable Development
Consensus Building and Sustainable Development
Nov 21, 2014

Sami's Project Continuing into the Fall

Student with tree in Imgdal elementary
Student with tree in Imgdal elementary

Things are continuing to move forward with Sami’s Project. HAF Project Manager Amina El Hajjami

visited more schools to follow up on tree planting starting in January. Amina visited Imgdal elementary

school in the Rural Commune of Asni in the Al Haouz Province, and Talbrit elementary school. In both

schools she met with administrators and teachers to discuss their needs to ensure they have the

resources to maintain the trees as well inform them that HAF has developed an environmental

curriculum for the schoolschildren. Amina also interviewed students to find out about how they care for

the trees at the schools.

The students expressed their enjoyment for caring for the trees and the sense of responsibility they

have to help them grow. She gave a presentation to students during lunch about why students should

care for the environment.

At both schools teachers and administrators mentioned access to water as a challenge when caring for

the trees, however both schools were continuing to maintain the health of the trees.

In September HAF brought on a volunteer to develop an environmental science curriculum for the

schools to use throughout the year. The curriculum is a working document and currently has lessons and

activities focusing on farming, water conservation, composting, and greenhouse gases. This is a great

start for what we expect to be a beneficial component to Sami’s Project.

Talbrit Elementary
Talbrit Elementary

Links:

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