HAF Plants its 1 Millionth Tree!

A microproject by High Atlas Foundation
Vetted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

11/3/2016

 

For general inquiries, please contact:

Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir

Tel: +212 (0)5 24 42 08 21

Fax: +212 (0)5 24 43 00 02 

Email: haf@highatlasfoundation.org

 

 

HIGH ATLAS FOUNDATION SELECTS

JANUARY 16TH AS DAY OF TREE PLANTING

 

MARRAKECH- According to the United States calendar, January 16th commemorates the life and pursuit of justice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In commemoration of Dr. King’s efforts, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) announced its commitment to annually planting trees across its project sites in Morocco.

 

HAF co-founder and President, Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir highlighted the importance o
f the annual event, “Trees are an integral part of achieving people’s development. They fortify livelihoods and our planet, they feed and give shelter and they are among the most tangible signs of God’s mercy and love”.

 

Alongside the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC being held in Morocco this year, the HAF’s January 16th event displays the organization’s commitment towards sustainable, green practices.

 

The planting of trees event will commence at noon on January 16th, 2017.

 

High Atlas Foundation works to establish sustainable development projects identified and managed by local communities in partnership with the public, private and civil sectors. Also, HAF uses a participatory approach that is driven by community beneficiaries in every step of the development process, from prioritizing goals to project implementation and evaluation.

 

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For more information about the January 16th event, please contact the High Atlas Foundation at haf@highatlasfoundation.org.

Hanan with one of the particpants
Hanan with one of the particpants

The tutoring of high school students in the Taza Province is in full swing and the results are stunning. Since January, we've added a sixth program participant, and two additional tutors, Mustapha and Khalid.  Hanan is still coordinating the program and reports that the students are "dedicated to their studies, eager to learn, and look forward to bright futures.  The Bernard Mejean Fund offers our students a great opportunity to meet their goals and improve their performance in school."  Our Global Giving donors are providing these students with a unique opportunity to take control of their futures and gain access to further educational and development opportunities.  The students' report cards are in, and all six have earned high marks.  

To help our supporters get to know a little bit about the students, we've asked three to send some information about their studies and interests.  Here's what they shared:

  • Fatima is studying to obtain a Physical Sciences Baccalaureate and she enjoys sports, reading, music and travel.
  • Smahane is studying to obtain a Physical Sciences Baccalaureate and she enjoys sports, reading, and travel.
  • Ikrame is studying to obtain a Physical Sciences Baccalaureate and she enjoys sports, reading, music and travel.

The students are working towards attending university in the future.  They've learned valuable lessons through service-learning activities including volunteering with non-profits, including with the local orphanage and homeless shelter. This volunteer program prepares students for a promising future by developing their professional skills and engaging them with the associations that provide human services to their communities.  Students have also been awarded the chance to participate in youth development forums and to meet with community leaders.  Your support makes it possible for the Bernard Mejean Fund and the High Atlas Foundation to support the education goals of these dedicated students to flourish.  Thank you for helping to create brighter futures for Moroccan youth.

Here are the girls!
Here are the girls!

16 January 2014 was an incredible day for community partners and local schools. HAF staff attended planting events throughout 8 provinces, traveling from school to school, community to community, overseeing tree deliveries and environmental lessons presented by local teachers and farmers. Nearly 10,000 trees were planted in the course of 1 day, setting the stage for the rest of the planting season during which HAF will plant 400,000 trees with community partners.

Al Haouz: Director of Programs in Al Haouz Province, Malika, visited 4 rural schools with Rachid El Kouhen, father of Sami, the inspiration for Sami’s Project. In Al Haouz nearly 2,000 trees were planted with school children, including over 1,000 walnut, 383 olive, 214 orange, 87 carbotrees, and 20 fig, 20 pomegranate, 20 eucalyptus, 20 aromatic plants, and 20 almond. HAF President Yossef Ben-Meir participated in the tree distribution in Akraich village – from the community nursery that embodies Morocco’s unity and diversity.

Azilal: In Azilal Province, Director of Programs Abderrahim traveled with HAF Chair of the Board Thom Anderson to three schools. Peace Corps Volunteers also attended these events, providing support for the teachers and principals during the planting. One student reflected “we can benefit from the idea of nurturing the trees in our school yard and learning about the importance of tree planting for our future”. In Azilal, 60 carbotrees, 30 pomegranate, and 30 lemon trees were planted. Boujdour: HAF Site Manager Hana oversaw the planting of 798 trees in Boujdour Province at 5 sites. Community members and school children planted different varieties, including Lagunaria, Acacia Cyanophylla, and Schinus Molle – species that are well adapted to handle the dry environment in Boujdour.

Essaouira: Director of Programs Lynn and Program Assistant Joke oversaw planting at two schools in Essaouira, attended by the Governor of Essaouira Province, Mr. Abdelouahab El Jabri. 41 olive and carob trees were planted with about 150 school children. See more about the planting at Essaouira here, and check out this video clip.

Mohammedia: At The Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Hassan II University in Mohammedia, the tree planting was celebrated with Matthew Lussenhop, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Morocco. Mr. Lussenhop praised the actions of the High Atlas Foundation and the continued cooperation between the US government and the movement towards a Green Morocco.

Rhamna: Office Manager Fatima-Zahra and Program Manager Aicha Galef visited 5 schools in Rhamna Province. After distributing trees to the first two schools, it began to rain, a most promising sign for the health of the trees and the local agriculture. In Rhamna, 390 almond, 1,440 olive, 62 orange, and 730 pomegranate trees were planted.

Taroudannt: Site Manager Fatima oversaw the planting of 383 trees in Taroudannt Province. 6 schools in 2 communes received almond trees to be planted in school yards, and more trees were distributed to students to bring home and plant with family members in their orchards.

Taza: Director of Programs Mouhssine oversaw the planting of 3,949 trees of different varieties in Ain Bashar of the Taza Province. HAF is expanding into additional provinces throughout Morocco, and the millionth tree event gave HAF the opportunity to begin expansion and partnerships in 26 sites throughout Taza Province.

1 Million down, the 1 Billion Tree Campaign begins! According to Morocco’s own projections and goal, 1 billion trees are part of what is needed to overcome subsistence agriculture, which is at the root of rural poverty, and to offset the severe environmental challenges such as soil erosion and deforestation. With gratefulness and the belief that high aspirations for humanity come true with unwavering dedication by the many, and after the people’s sustainable achievement of the 1 Million Tree Campaign, the High Atlas Foundation is thrilled to announce the beginning of its 1 Billion Tree Campaign. This is Morocco’s collective time! Stayed tuned for the release of the 1 Million Tree Campaign video!

 

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Organization Information

High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.highatlasfoundation.org
Project Leader:
Alex Stein
New York City and Marrakech, NY (US) & AlHaouz (Maroc) Morocco

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