Oct 9, 2012

Exciting NEWS About Upcoming Value-Added Initiative

At this time of year, HAF prepares projects for the upcoming planting season, which will begin when the rainy weather arrives.

GOOD NEWS:

While planting 458,492 trees in 9 years, HAF has been looking into ways to add value to the yield. 

Currently, a team has been busy working out the details of a value-added project for the walnuts and almonds being harvested at several HAF project sites, and HAF has just been awarded one of four Alliance for Global Good’s Innovation fund Prizes, which will enable HAF to obtain organic certification. (Details below)

Now, your contributions will go further than just planting trees. The yield from those trees will create jobs and additional income for community members.

PLEASE CONSIDER making a RECURRING DONATION to this increasingly beneficial project.  

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HAF Seeking Organic Certification:  

As part of a new initiative, HAF has undertaken obtaining organic certification for the walnut and almond crops from High Atlas villages.

In September, HAF led nut specialists and entrepreneurs, a photographer and a technician from Morocco's Ministry of Agriculture on a week-long tour to study the current crops and systems and determine what steps will be necessary in order to obtain certification for these farmers. The expedition is described in detail in this HAF blog: http://www.highatlasfoundation.org/blogs/308-Hafs-harvest-and-organic-certification 

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HAF Wins an Alliance for Global Good's Innovation Fund prize:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Innovation Fund Winners Announced 

Four Nonprofits Selected For Project Funding

Winners use best-in-class combination of nonprofit mission and business models for sustainable social good.

Greensboro, NC – A path to prosperity for the poorest of Morocco's rural farmers through organic certification. … These are the proposals that were selected from nearly 50 applicants to be the [4] inaugural grantees of the Alliance for Global Good's Innovation Fund.     ...

High Atlas Foundation | | Morocco 

  • Challenge: How to grow earned income of resident client population, as well as create source of
    sustainable revenue for organizational needs. 
  • Solution: Obtain organic certification for residents’ agricultural products and create supply chain that
    eliminates middle man, thereby increasing revenue generated many times over, allowing both organization and target population to benefit.

To learn more about this prize, read HAF's blog post:  http://www.highatlasfoundation.org/blogs/312-haf-innovation-fund-winner-of-the-alliance-for-global-good

Attached please see photos taken during a recent tour of these projects earlier in September.


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Oct 8, 2012

Ben Guerir region: Female Elected Officials Learn HAF Participatory Planning Development Techniques

Thanks in great part to funding received from MEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative), HAF has been teaching another group of female elected officials some participatory planning techniques that help them voice their views and be heard, thereby empowering them to strengthen their roles and become more active and effective leaders in building the capacities of their communities. This training is "learning by doing". While conducting participatory planning activities, HAF is coaching these elected women, supporting them to enter into the process and actively contribute to their communities' development. 

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HAF Community Facilitator Malika Kassi reports:

This particular program benefits 20 elected women from the province of Rhamna, and HAF’s goal is to implement 10 of the projects proposed during their community participatory planning activities, eventually benefitting 4000 people. 

The women trainees expressed that the training has already made a difference in their lives because they feel proud that they will be able to be active leaders in their communities. 

Prior to the training, most of the elected women found it challenging to participate in the political life of their communes because they lacked the necessary skills to be decision-makers concerning the issues of their communes. 

To understand more about their roles, we opened a discussion with them through the following questions: 

How do you feel about your role as elected women?

Some of the elected women feel that they haven’t had opportunities to get involved in political life in the sense that most of the decisions when they are made, do not include them. 

Others expressed that they don’t have enough knowledge about how the communes work, and they are not aware about their roles regarding nonprofit associations and civil society. And some of them said “I am not happy with my role because I feel as stuck in place as a stable rock and I can’t make change happen, although I want to do something good for my community but I don’t know how to make my role effective’.

In addition, some of them said: “I have enough knowledge but I don’t have the power to express my thoughts freely”.

How would you like to see your role as elected women?

Elected women hope to develop a sense of their responsibility for communal issues and be more active in their communities so that their thoughts will be voiced — and heard — in the communes they are working for.

What skills need to be gained in order for them to be more proactive? 

Elected women expressed that: “We have been participating in different workshops but we didn’t feel that we gained enough skills to be active in our communities”. And one of them added: “But I think the way HAF approaches us makes us feel that we can do a lot, and we will gain trust among our communities by being more responsible and active”.

 

To support them and motivate them, HAF organized a set of trainings and workshops where the elected women learned new skills of both group facilitation and identifying the needs of their communities. 

HAF has been supervising the trainee women in the participatory planning meetings held in their communities where they use  the methods and tools of the HAF participatory development approach in order to understand the community’s needs.  

In this program, HAF is trying to encourage and empower elected women to share their ideas with their communities and discuss social issues and governmental actions by being very proactive in order to acquire full political and social participation. Most importantly, with MEPI’s support, HAF is seeking to enhance leadership skills among elected women.

As we near the end of this particular program, the elected women feel supported because they finally are discovering how to assume their roles in a proactive way.

Not everything is certain, but everything is possible

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Oct 8, 2012

September 2012 Update - Akraich

This is the time of year when HAF prepares projects for the upcoming planting season, which begins with the rains.

Attached are photos of the land lent by the Jewish Community of Marrakech for the fruit tree nursery to be planted at Akraïch.  

As a reminder, after the 2nd and the 5th years, the young trees are transplanted from the nursery to the private orchards of farming families neighboring the site.

We are currently working on another agreement with the Jewish Community in Marrakech in the Ourika Valley of the High Atlas Mountains, in the Al Haouz province.

 


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