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Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project

by High Atlas Foundation
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Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project
Improve Rural Moroccan Schools: Sami's Project

This Newsletter presents the sustainable development work of the High Atlas Foundation and our fulfilling the Special Consultative Status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations that we have enjoyed since 2011.
We are facilitators of development that local communities of Morocco seek, and advocates of the people in order for society to achieve sustainable and shared prosperity. HAF's abiding connection with the human development purpose of the U.N. derives from these core elements of who we are.

The articles by HAF in this Newsletter celebrate this longstanding commitment.

Giving to HAF gives to the people’s projects and to fostering a country and world that enables communities to achieve inclusive growth.

Finally, the planting season begins next month. Let’s make this season for the ages by planting trees with families and schools that bare fruit for generations.
Happy winter, and rains, and best wishes for all good possibilities.
Yours faithfully,


Climate Protection and Sustainability at the UN Climate Action Summit

International Day of Childhood 

Participatory Development: An Alternative to Migration

Framing the humanitarian action: HAF in Qatar

Accelerating Sustainable Development Toward 2030

Ethics in Action an Event with Ban Ki Moon

Global Bottom-Up by 2030?

HAF Statement; 4th World Conference on Women

Yaounde: Government & CSOs Discuss Water & Development

Youth at the UN Plan Sustainable Development

International Day of Democracy: Engaging Youth

Build World Peace, Locally

The Hidden Gems of Morocco

Civil Society Matters to the Sustainable Development Goals

The next step for cooperatives is certification

Morocco provides 'Safe Spaces' for youth

HAF Action Efforts at the COP22 In Marrakech

Statement by HAF; ECOSOC High Level Segment

Implementing the UNs sustainable development goals

Meet a 2015er: Yossef Ben-Meir

Happy Tears: Human Connection Leading to Human Development

Mountain Life on Mountain Day

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

World Environment Day

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The challenges facing our world at the moment are highly complex, and they are going to affect us all sooner or later: climate change, dwindling natural resources and scarcities of fresh water and foodstuffs. One thing seems clear: we must not waste any more time discussing the problems we are facing and resigning ourselves to powerlessness and paralysis. We need to rethink, we must take definitive action and change our ways, not only as individuals but also collectively. This is what many scientific climate research studies show. Equally, we must not allow ourselves to randomly pursue small, individual actions and short-term projects for greater sustainability. Instead, we must attempt to keep the big picture in sight all the time. As the sustainable world requires people who can think laterally and contribute in discussions and finding solutions, and citizens who examine and question the implementation of sustainability promises made by business people and politicians.

Now, how do we address this enormous social puzzle? And what are our greatest and most important actions?

The United Nations (UN) paved the road to all contributors "World leaders Youth and Government officials" to advance the climate actions through organizing two major summits: The First ever UN Youth Climate Summit and the Climate action Summit.

A day after thousands of young people marched and rallied for urgent climate action, young leaders brought their message to the United Nations for the Youth Climate Summit, and before the Climate Action Summit, on September 21st, 2019 the UN brought youth climate champions together from more than 140 countries and territories to a platform to share their solutions on the global stage, and deliver a clear message to world leaders: “we need to act now to address climate change”, and to meaningfully engage with them on the defining issue of our time.

The UN Secretary General H.E António Guterres was fully engaged with all the ideas coming from youth, which were focused more on the way of involving the young people in building climate solutions through creating NGOs and Enterprises that lead to advance the climate actions, as well as to be part of the decisions into the environment. “We are not yet there,” H.E. Guterres said, adding that we are “still losing the race” against climate change. “But there is a change in momentum. “I have granddaughters. I want them to live in a livable planet. My generation has a huge responsibility. It is your generation that must hold us accountable to make sure we don’t betray the future of humankind.” He added.

The outcomes of this event clearly fed into the Climate Action Summit, which was organized after the Youth Climate Summit, as this opportunity gave voice to the demands of young people for far swifter action to reduce the climate issues.

The UN Secretary-General called on all leaders to come to New York on September, 23rd with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

The Summit brought together heads of state and government, business CEOs, civil society leaders, the private sector, local authorities as well as other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in six areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.

More than half of the participants agreed on that accelerated climate solutions can strengthen our economies and create jobs, while bringing cleaner air, preserving natural habitats and biodiversity, and protecting our environment. And that new technologies and engineering solutions are already delivering energy at a lower cost than the fossil-fuel driven economy. Solar and onshore wind are now the cheapest sources of new bulk power in virtually all major economies. But we must set radical change in motion engaging youth in these major processes.

The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) as a Moroccan – American NGO participated in both of the summits, in order to present its sustainable development mission and the environmental commitment, which are reflected in multiple initiatives with all the Moroccan regions, under major partnership agreements with several partners from around the world.

Following what all Moroccans carry in their hearts, the kingdom and the United Nations visions, the HAF is contributing to advance the climate change solutions through:

The decentralization of the renewable energies in Morocco, as the country’s energy strategy, 52% of its energy needs should be met through renewable means of energy production by 2030.

Working with the United Nations Development Program, to reach out most of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) via growing organic fruit tree nurseries with the Moroccan communities, and advance the economic growth.

Accessing the carbon credit market after planting 2 million organic fruit trees since 2014, with a vision of reinvesting it in building environmental and agricultural development projects with the Moroccan communities.

Engaging youth in developing initiatives and projects under the principle of the participatory approach.

Empowering rural women and bring them to the decision of implementing development and environmental projects.

The HAF is committed to furthering sustainable development, as it supports Moroccan communities to take action in implementing human and environmental development initiatives.

Anybody looking to the future full of hope and confidence is demonstrably involved more actively and intensively in the search for innovative solutions for the existing climate issue. However, it is also understandable that many people are afraid of incalculable risks and unforeseen catastrophes, whether they are of an ecological or social nature. Now what human should strongly believe in is taking these fears seriously and mitigate them instead of encouraging a fatalistic, passive inertia. 

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When you think about successful associations and the faces behind them, what are the first things that come to mind? Is it the meticulous business plans that, at some stage or another, came into fruition? How about the scrupulously drawn out financial projections that laid the foundation for future budgets and operations? The early marketing strategies that may have emerged in the form of business cards, social media posts, or flyers and phone calls? While each of these play a critical role, small or large, in an organization’s journey, there are three ingredients that are far more essential on the path to success: participation, passion, and persistence.

On September 22, I had the pleasure of attending a talk led by HAF President Yossef Ben-Meir at a gathering of driven and enthusiastic youths taking part in a Y-Peer Workshop in Ait Ourir. Y-Peer was designed as a youth-to-youth initiative that supports and promotes civic engagement and responsibility, with participants coming from across Morocco and other parts of the continent and the world. These workshops are a unique and incredible opportunity for these University-aged students to ideate, learn from each other, and gain empowering knowledge to drive them forward on their missions to develop associations for the betterment of their communities and themselves.

“If you’re not given the opportunity to voice your opinions, that environment has to change, or you have to change it,” this is only one of the inspiring messages Yossef delivered to these students during the hour and a half discussion; the importance of being heard, and recognizing that that inherent power in ourselves is paramount in becoming the change-makers of today and tomorrow. The workshop participants were eager and responsive, heavily identifying with this message, but also moving further to discuss their fears and individual goals. One of the women present stressed the importance of believing in our failures and learning from our experiences in our journeys through life, while also keeping that youthful spark of energy constantly alive and burning. We each have within us the energy to make a change for ourselves and others, and with enough hope and the right ideas, plans will emerge and communities can be formed.

Yossef ended the talk with stressing the importance of keeping in touch and maintaining the communities we form; it is through our connections with others and the world around us that we’ll find the most success in what we do. Participation, persistence, and passion are what drive us forward and build the foundation for positive impact. Of course, we can’t be on fire everyday, we’re all only human beings, but with enough motivation, grit, persistence, and passion, we can always keep the desire and spark of change burning brightly within ourselves and those around us.

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What can you do when one cannot count on the abundance of natural resources? You can count on the insights of creative people, and that is our case. This time one great idea can help a lot of people in need and can change their lives.

The access to clean water is an enormous problem to the 311 children who attend the school Zawiyat Sidi Boutayeb in Youssoufia province, where the parents association is facing a lot struggles to find a proper solution. It’s here that the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is investing to create a genial solution, but more than anything else, an ecological solution: Hydro-Panels.

The “source” panels come from the Zero Mass Water company with the objective to develop a clean and eco-friendly way to access clean water everywhere, even in extreme conditions.

Hydro-Panels use the energy of the sun and the air to create clean and drinkable water even in the desert. The array includes two solar panels. They can produce five to ten liters of water daily and store almost 60 liters. Panels have a special absorbing material that can take only water particles, avoid airborne pollution, and then it can be mineralized with calcium and magnesium in a special storage. The structure does not need external electricity or water supply to work properly and can be mounted and be operative in a few hours, even in environmentally difficult areas.

But why is this an environmental and agricultural great choice? The answer is very easy. Try to imagine having a proper source of clean water in high mountains or even in an isolated valley but without the problems of a well (which is sometimes way too expensive to build and the water can be unclean).  Further, the distance from the central water supply and the locations where people seek to drink and cultivate can be too distant. It’s wonderful, right? That’s what HAF has seen and what it is trying to do for the school in El Youssoufia. With this idea, all the students and their families will not have the problem of access to clean water and they will be able to cultivate and benefit from this great creation. The panels will work for decades, save water and help to improve the local economy.

All great ideas need supporters.  In this regard, HAF is so very grateful to the American School of Marrakech and to Bruno Mejean for their contributions that have made this new project possible.

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Errachid with rural primary school students, conducting an environmental workshop in Ait Hamou municipality in the Marrakech region (Photo by Nisreen Abo-Sido; January 2019).

Yossef Ben-Meir

President, High Atlas Foundation

Marrakech, Morocco

Tel. +212624596622

September 16, 2019

Errachid Montassir of Morocco, a project manager of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), was recently accepted to attend the first ever UN Youth Climate Summit in New York City on Saturday, September 21. The special event will be a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time. It will be the largest gathering of young climate leaders at the UN in history. 

Over 7,000 young people between the ages of 18 to 29 applied to attend the Youth Climate Summit. Errachid Montassir was one of 500 hundred young people from around the world selected to attend the Summit after demonstrating their commitment to addressing the climate crisis and displaying leadership in advancing solutions.

The Youth Climate Summit will feature a full-day of programming that brings together young activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and change-makers who are committed to combating climate change at the pace and scale needed to meet the challenge. It will be action oriented, intergenerational, and inclusive, with equal representation of young leaders from all walks of life.

“Youth are showing us the way on climate action,” said Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba. “I am eager for young climate leaders from all over the world to take their rightful place on the global stage and participate in this historic moment.”

Errachid Montassir is a highly valued member of the HAF team, and is an example of the transformative experience that this foundation can have on youth. Errachid began with HAF four years ago as a student intern, during which time he demonstrated exemplary leadership and professionalism. Errachid was then hired to be a full-time staff member at HAF, managing Sami’s Project, which is designed to improve the learning and environmental conditions for youth across Morocco.

Furthermore, Errachid has been trained as a facilitator in participatory community meetings, allowing him to assist local populations in urban and rural settings to develop action plans for their priority projects. Errachid has been a project manager for three years, vitally contributing to programs’ expansion, and is currently a key team member of USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer program that benefits schools and cooperatives. 

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Organization Information

High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @haffdtn
Project Leader:
Fatima Zahra Laaribi
New York City, NY United States
$43,513 raised of $50,000 goal
640 donations
$6,487 to go
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