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 app...
Sep 9, 2016

How do rural households get water when there's no plumbing?

Water reservoir
Water reservoir

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you didn’t have clean drinking water from a faucet in your home?

Well many rural households in the Atlas Mountains live in such conditions. Households are oftentimes not linked to the national water piping network, especially communities which are the hardest to reach (farther up in the mountains).

To adapt, households build on a higher-elevated part of their town or village, community-managed reservoirs to store spring or rain water. These are similar to the water towers you find in towns and villages in the United States, but built in the ground. With these reservoirs, and subsequent piping, households are able to reduce the distance needed to access water and become better equipped to ensure water year-round for household, agricultural and animal consumption.

These reservoirs are from 18-100 meters cubed and can cost a substantial amount of money; often greater than annual capacity of the community. The High Atlas Foundation works with communities, and helps support them in financing and building these reservoirs.

When we consider the importance of water and the life it provides, sustainable water management is essential for populations worldwide. This is why, together with you, we are committed to bringing clean drinking water to households throughout the Kingdom. 

As we hope you are aware, the Kingdom of Morocco is hosting the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakech this November 2016.  It will be an exciting time to come together and commitment to global action and cooperation towards sustainable environmental practices as laid out in the Paris Agreement

During the COP22, the High Atlas Foundation aims to highlight its sound water resource management, in combination with the organic agriculture value chain model, as a solution to not only poverty, but peace throughout the country and region as well.  The COP22 is a COP of action; a global climate action agenda to boost cooperative action among governments, cities, businesses, investors and citizens to reduce emissions and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts. The first universal climate agreement was unanimously adopted at COP21, which took place in December 2015 in Paris. The agreement aims to limit the rise in global temperature "well below 2ºC". This COP22 in Morocco aims to bring all States into action through the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and ambitious national commitments. 

As part of HAF's commitment to sustainable development and given our expertise in the agroforestry sector, we will be looking to market carbon offsetting initiatives to individuals, companies and states during the COP. Not only will this contribute to our 1 Billion Tree campaign, but also allow entities to uphold their commitments to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Global Giving will have a Bonus Day on September 21st, and we at the High Atlas Foundation plan to offer to our Global Giving supporters the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions. 

Stay tuned here on Global Giving! You can also sign up for updates from the HAF newsletter for further information! 

Water tower
Water tower
Sep 7, 2016

Interfaith fruit trees and the COP22

Journalist meets with HAF team
Journalist meets with HAF team

As we hope you are aware, the Kingdom of Morocco is hosting the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC in Marrakech this November 2016.  It will be an exciting time to come together and committment to global action and cooperation towards sustainable environmental practices as laid out in the Paris Agreement

During the COP22, the High Atlas Foundation, aims to highlight it's Multicultural Cooperation for Fruit Tree Planting program as a solution to not only poverty, but peace as well. The German journalist, Tini von Poser, spent 2 days with the Marrakech field staff discussing these efforts and how, in particular, they respond to the climate challenges faced in Morocco. Below is an account of this visit told by HAF' s Agricultural Technician, Samir Azerboua.  

 

"When I visited the Akraich nursery on last Tuesday 30th of August with German journalist and HAF staff, I felt that I have a spiritual feeling that I had never before especially when I saw the burial tombs. I was really amazed by this nursery that HAF built in this rural village; I would say it can be considered among the best nursery compared to the other nurseries that I have visited so far. It is well organized and well maintained provided with drip system and all the necessary agriculture things.

Miss Tini, the journalist loves the place as well. She began her interview with the nursery care taker, Mr. Abderrahim. He  answered her questions with happiness, followed by another beneficiary who lives in next village. All their answers help the journalist to have a clear idea about operations and effort that it has been done by HAF regarding climate change.

Technically speaking, I have noticed that the fig and pomegranate saplings are growing well (vegetation growth and development). Since Akraich is a hot place fig and pomegranate trees grow very well here."

 

The COP22 is a COP of action; a global climate action agenda to boost cooperative action among governments, cities, businesses, investors and citizens to reduce emissions and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts. The first universal climate agreement was unanimously adopted at COP21, which took place in December 2015 in Paris. The agreement aims to limit the rise in global temperature "well below 2ºC". This COP22 in Morocco aims to bring all States into action through the mitigation of greenhouse gas emisions and ambitious national commitments. 

As part of HAF's committment to sustainable development and given our expertise in the agroforestry sector, we will be looking to market carbon offsetting initiatives to individuals, companies and states during the COP. Not only will this contribute to our 1 Billion Tree campaign, but also allow entities to uphold their commitments to mitigate greenhouse gas emisions. Global Giving will have a Bonus Day on September 21st, and we at the High Atlas Foundation plan to offer to our Global Giving supporters the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions. 

Stay tuned here on Global Giving! You can also sign up for updates from the HAF newsletter for further information! 

Journalist exploring the nursery
Journalist exploring the nursery
The Akraich nursery
The Akraich nursery
Aug 25, 2016

Celebrating training for civil society engagement

On July 26, 2016 HAF’s Director of Development, Jacqueline Seeley, participated in the celebration ceremony for civil society efforts in partnership with the University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah of Fez and the association Volunteer Experts for Development. This three-party partnership, signed into agreement in 2015, resulted in the creation of a Center for Community Consensus, Sustainable Development and Innovation based in the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of Sais. 

Following the first year of operations in which a total of 46 students were experientially trained in diagnostic techniques for the implementation of participatory development projects. Under this approach, the students become the main actors and leaders of the development projects, which are identified and chosen by the community in which the project occurs. Students exchange their struggles, needs and obstacles encountered and together find opportunities and ways to surpass them. 

Students used participatory methods such as brainstorming, pair-wise ranking, problem-tree analysis, in order to identify solutions needed to respond to challenges confronted, including as a method of conflict resolution. 

Below is the speech presented by Ms. Seeley during the ceremony. In honor of the work that the High Atlas Foundation has expended through this unique partnership, the University provided HAF with a medallion, to which we are very grateful. 

 

Remarks by Jacqueline Seeley, Director of Development at the High Atlas Foundation  (in French)

Bonjour. C’est un réel plaisir pour moi d’être ici en cette cérémonie spéciale. J’aimerais Tout d’abord commencer par adresser mes vives félicitations à tous les étudiants et bénévoles des programmes pour lesquels nous sommes réunis aujourd’hui, et en particulier, aux étudiants du Programme « Techniques d’élaboration des projets de développement durable concertés et participatifs » du Centre pour le consensus communautaire, le développement durable et l’innovation. 

L’objectif de ce Programme est de promouvoir et d’engendrer une capacité de mobilisation et de réalisation d’un développement durable. Les apprentissages ont abordé l’approche participative pour la méthodologie de préparation du Plan de développement communautaire, l’innovation dans des projets de développement, ainsi que la recherche et les requêtes de fonds.

Aujourd’hui vous, élèves du programme « Techniques d’élaboration des projets de développement durable, concertés et participatifs », allez recevoir vos attestations de « fin » de formation. Même si aujourd’hui ne signifie pas la fin. J’aimerais le préciser, cette journée marque plutôt un début, et non une fin.   

Vous avez désormais l’occasion d’utiliser les compétences et les capacités apprises et vécues. C’est le début pour pouvoir mieux mener à bien les projets de développement durable ; pour mieux donner vos talents aux autres ; pour mieux participer à votre société et être mieux préparés pour l’avenir, quel que soit votre chemin. Vous êtes à peine au début du chemin, le chemin vers une contribution optimale de vos potentialités pour cette planète. 

Comme vous le savez, le Royaume du Maroc demeure toujours stable dans une région et un monde instables. Au sein de la Fondation du Haut Atlas, nous trouvons que la force de ce pays et de son peuple se retrouve dans la participation et l’engagement de chacun de vous. Et c’est exactement pour cela que ce que vous avez appris reste si essentiel pour la mise en œuvre de la décentralisation et de la régionalisation de ce beau Royaume. 

L’avenir de ce pays, et même celui du monde, sont entre vos mains. Je vous encourage donc à ne manquer aucune occasion pour mettre en évidence les connaissances que vous avez acquises, quelles que soit leurs formes. Je vous exhorte aussi à travailler et à continuer d’apprendre.  

J’aimerais que vous sachiez qu’aujourd’hui ne marque pas non plus la fin de votre relation ni avec la Fondation du Haut Atlas, et si je peux me permettre, ni avec l’Association « Experts bénévoles pour le développement », ni avec l’université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah, ni avec le Centre pour le consensus communautaire, le développement durable et l’innovation, et non plus avec l’Association Injaz Al Maghrib. Nos connaissances et nos partenariats à tous créent un réseau d’agents de changement.  Nous militons tous ensemble pour une jeunesse, comme on dit en anglais empowered, ou habilitée à mener le changement que nous souhaitons voir dans le monde. 

Nous investissons en vous, car l’éducation est la clé du succès dans la vie. A présent, c’est à vous d’imaginer comment valoriser votre vie et contribuer à ce monde. Au sein de la Fondation du Haut Atlas, nous avons de grands ambitions pour le pays, la région et même la planète ; pour la prospérité de tous. Mais ces efforts commencent avec vous et nous sommes à vos côtés pour y aboutir.

Je suis personnellement très motivée d’avoir été témoin de votre engagement et détermination pour réussir dans ces programmes. La Fondation du Haut Atlas est très fière de chacun de vous. Nous sommes fiers qu’à travers l’Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah et le Centre pour le consensus communautaire, le développement durable et l’innovation vous devenez de jeunes citoyens exemplaires, actifs et engagés. 

Je ne doute aucunement du fait que vous allez tous nous rendre fiers. J’ai hâte de recevoir les échos de vos réalisations dans un futur proche. Je vous prie de rester en contact avec vos camarades, vos professeurs, les experts bénévoles et les formateurs car votre force, ainsi que la nôtre, résident dans l’ensemble.

Une fois de plus, félicitations. 

Maintenant, je finis sur ces mots de feu Martin Luther King Junior qui disait « Tout le monde peut être important car tout le monde peut servir à quelque chose ».

Je vous remercie de votre aimable attention.  

Participatory training in action.
Participatory training in action.
Medallion received from the University
Medallion received from the University
Partners - here Volunteer Experts President
Partners - here Volunteer Experts President
 
   

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