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...
Mar 18, 2016

Supplying Water to Rural Moroccan Farmer's Trees

The High Atlas Foundation is currently implementing a tree nursery including the installation of a drip irrigation system with members of the Abgohlo women’s cooperative in the Ourika valley. The nursery includes 6,000 square meters upon which approximately 80,000 almond seeds are being planted.

In addition, we are expanding the nursery in the Asni municipality which also includes the installation of pressure drip pipes and system. This nursery involves the planting of walnuts and almonds and is on land lent by the High Commission of Waters and Forests.

Finally, we are working with 14 villages of the Toubkal municipality in order that they come to an agreement involving the distribution of water that will be made available by the Ouray irrigation project. This project will see the diversion of a mountain spring along the summit of a mountain range. This therefore will enable the irrigation of the mountainside and will expand agricultural production..

Mar 18, 2016

Water is the Driving Force of All Nature

The High Atlas Foundation is glad to report that in the Moroccan municipality called  Ait Oum El Bekht, we completed the installation including a well and water tower of a clean drinking water system. Currently, eight household benefit from this initiative, which was supported by the Organization of the Moroccan Community in the United States. 

We are currently working to secure the needed financing for piping in order to enable the delivery of clean drinking water to an additional seventy households. In order for the needed quantity of water to be pumped to the water tower, the project also requires an engine with larger capacity. We are working together with the local municipality as well as local associations in order to secure public financing in order to achieve this project. Currently, they have committed $2,000 toward expanding the project in order to reach the goal of seventy households.

The High Atlas Foundation has also conducted community meetings in the province of Al Haouz where local people ranked clean drinking water as their top priority. This process is very important  because by involving local beneficiaries in the entire planning process of development initiatives their commitment to their implementation, including their contributions, become solidified. We are working with them towards developing budgets and they have already committed to provide their labor in kind toward project implementation.

Mar 10, 2016

ENRICHING US ALL - HAF'S HOUSE OF LIFE INTERCULTURAL INITIATIVE & CGI

Morocco: Supporting economic development in a way that enriches us all – High Atlas Foundation House of Life intercultural organic agriculture initiative and Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action

 

Monday, January 25th, 2016 – Akrich, rural commune of Tamesloht, Al Haouz province (27 km south of Marrakesh): A spirit of unity and hope reigned at Monday’s intercultural celebration of the new planting season, which was graced by The Honorable Dwight L. Bush, Sr., Ambassador of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Morocco and Mr. Younès Al Bathaoui, Governor of Al Haouz province, and which represented a further milestone for the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) under its President, Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir.

The definitive shift in scope and scale of HAF’s innovative House of Life initiative was publicly fêted at the event.  This builds on and strengthens intercommunal relationships between Moroccan Muslim and Jewish communities and commenced in 2012 as a pilot organic project at Akrich itself – where a total of 90,000 fruit seeds and saplings have been planted to date.  In July 2015, under the terms of a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, HAF embarked on a three-year program to plant a further one million trees in nurseries adjoining rural Jewish burial sites in the provinces of Azilal, Essaouira and Ouarzazate, for the benefit of local, disadvantaged Muslim farmers.

House of Life forms an integral part of HAF’s ongoing One Billion Tree Campaign, which also includes a junior educational initiative,Sami’s ProjectAs a whole, this transformative scheme has already succeeded in planting over a million organic, indigenous trees and medicinal plants in 13 Moroccan provinces, with the commitment representing a significant amplification of the process.

Monday’s event, with its interfaith, agricultural and communal emphasis brought together the communities of Akrich, Asni and Ourika involved in HAF projects, as well as members of the Moroccan Jewish community, Moroccan and United States government officials and prominent supporters of HAF.

Coinciding with Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish new year for trees, it was framed around four elements; a visit conducted by Mr. Jacky Kadoch, President of the Jewish community of Marrakesh-Essaouira, to the 700-year-old shrine of Raphael HaCohen adjoining the nursery, including the prayer for rain requested by H.M. King Mohammed VI in view of the significant lack of rain this winter; the planting of a single fig tree; the symbolic distribution of mature trees – almond, fig, grape and pomegranate – to local farming families: and the signing of the Clinton Global Initiative certificate that took place at the opening of a communal lunch attended by around 250.  Children in particular played a prominent role, as future trustees of the land and educators regarding its care.  Ambassador Bush summed up the event as a unique opportunity to celebrate Morocco’s multiculturalism and support economic development in a way that enriches us all.

 

Please click here to enjoy photos of the event.  

 

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) has been implementing development projects in predominantly rural areas throughout Morocco since 2000, building on the Peace Corps experience of its founders. HAF is both a U.S. 501(c) (3) organization and a Moroccan non-profit association. Since 2011 it has held special Consultative Status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. 

HAF utilizes a participatory, democratic approach to the management of all its projects, which are determined and managed by local communities, to support the Kingdom of Morocco in its twin bid to overcome subsistence agricultural practices that lie at the root of systemic rural poverty and to offset severe environmental challenges, including soil erosion and deforestation. 

The foundation actively seeks expertise within Morocco and is supported by Moroccan and international volunteers. The dynamic created by this intercultural team affords HAF a unique capacity to advance human development

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