Within the framework of its environmental and awareness activities, the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), in coordination with the Environment and Human Association in the city of Berkane, organized a field training workshop for a group of young people in the eastern region as part of their participation in the Be Green program. The program is supported by America House, which aims to enhance local participation in the planning and implementation of social and economic projects focusing on the environment in Morocco and in order to enhance skills in the areas of environmental awareness, community assessment, business planning, organizational development, project design, and management.
On this day, March 13, 50 young men and women from different areas of the eastern region participated in order to communicate and learn about women's cooperatives in the Berkane region and the role of women in promoting local development and preserving the environment in commemoration of International Women's Day, which falls on March 8 of each year. In addition, they visited a tree nursry to gain a range of information about tree nurseries.
The trip started from Berkane towards the Hamri Roundabout in order to visit the Al-Hamri Women’s Cooperative for Solidarity and Development and to communicate with the head of the cooperative, Mrs. Hasnaa, and members of the cooperative. The team also visited the Qaid Al-Mansoori Center for Rural Development in the Al-Hamri Roundabout, which is run by the Women’s Cooperative, to learn about its projects and natural products, and to tour inside a nursery.
For the cultivation of natural herbs managed by the cooperative, a discussion and dialogue was opened with the cooperative to learn about its history and projects. A number of points and challenges faced by the women’s cooperative, mainly “product marketing,” were discussed, where the participants spoke about the topic and shared their suggestions and ideas to contribute to supporting the cooperative’s development of its projects and products. and achieve all its future goals.
Also, a visit was made to the Malwiya Nursery, which produces all types of trees, where the participants in the program were introduced to the stages of seedling production in the nursery and the types of trees that are produced.
After acquiring a set of ideas and information about the nurseries, the participants went to the village of Tgma to visit Ms. Al-Yaqoubi, who is responsible for managing the Tegma Resort in the roundabout of Awlad El-Hajj, as a symbol of the struggling women in the field of tourism. This resort is a quiet place among the mountains, and it is characterized by a landscape consisting mainly of carob trees that have inhabited the area for years. She is trying to manage and succeed in local tourism by undertaking her normal duties in the daily running of the resort as well as meeting the requests of Moroccan and international visitors.
Mrs. Al-Yaqoubi, who knows the region well, received the HAF team and the participants in the Be Green program training. She also shared with everyone important stations in her life in the field of tourism and indicated that she did not have any experience at first in this field, but with her determination, she developed her skills and learned through her experiences in Al-Hayat and was able to support its tourism project despite the many difficulties it was experiencing, mainly in recent years due to the Corona health crisis.
At the end of the training, a visit was made to the Women’s Al-kimma Cooperative in Tafoughalt, which works in the context of extracting natural essential oils, valuing and marketing aromatic plants, as well as traditional industry products, such as carpets. The head of the cooperative provided a historical overview of its establishment and its choices in the nature of the projects it accomplishes.
The cooperative leader also added that the beginning of this valuable women's cooperative faced great difficulties in its early stages, including the lack of experience in the field of cooperative work and the self-training of cooperative members. However, working as a team enabled the cooperative to overcome crises and challenges and continue its work and planning, as it recently participated in exhibitions in the Eastern Province and presented its products to the public. She concluded her intervention by adding that the cooperative aspires in the future to better develop its products and to participate in exhibitions and initiatives to present its experience and its natural products to the public.
In summary, this training trip for the Be Green program aimed for the participants to experience all the different contributions to protecting the environment and nature and acquire a set of information and ideas about women's cooperatives and their role in preserving the environment and green cover through caring for nature. In addition, they were to get closely acquainted with the role of rural women and to benefit from their experiences in life and their determination to contribute to sustainable development by creating job opportunities for women in the deserts, developing their life skills, and helping them to face life conditions.
The participation of women in everyday life is an important necessity in order to confront climate changes and expand the circle of spreading environmental awareness and culture to future generations. As the old saying goes, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but we borrow it from our children.”