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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

After three months with the High Atlas Foundation, I returned again to my origins in the Rhamna province, where I had the chance to earlier bring the benefit of more than 400 trees on the 16th of January – for the planting event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

Today – the 3rd of April – I visited those seven schools to:

- Distribute the certificates - appreciating all the efforts of students and teachers as they take care of the trees

- Inspire the students to smile

- Build upon the health of the trees that we planted

- Discuss future projects with HAF

 

I can say that I still really get priceless information about the environment with the High Atlas Foundation.  I appreciate the good work of the active students and teachers as they create more than green spaces at their schools.

 

The distribution of certificates reflects our sincere gratitude to the students and teachers at Rhamna schools who planted the 400 almond, fig, and pomegranate trees.

 

When we planted the trees at the event, I noted the many smiles of students.  That is exactly the what happened when we gave them the certificates.

 

That was a precious feeling when the students came running and hugged me.  I really learned many things about responsibility from these moments.

 

As I look at the trees, I was surprises that I found they grew with green leaves.  The schools’ spaces became so green, and here I can say that we already achieved one of many goals.

 

The last step was to discuss with Mr. Mehdi, the president of the association WASSIL, about future projects with HAF; one of them is an action to plant more than 2,000 trees around 7 villages, with more than 1,000 beneficiaries.

 

With this collaboration, we are making green spaces for our youth and communities of the Kingdom of Morocco.

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With the annual tree planting event on January 16th upon us, HAF used the opportunity to evaluate the past three planting seasons. HAF wishes to constantly grow and change for the better and part of this process is learning from the different of outcomes.

Within the scope of the evaluation of Sami’s Project, we visited 15 schools in the Rhamna and Al Haouz provinces. Our goal was to evaluate whether Sami’s Project met its three main objectives:

  1. Environmental education of children: Students should learn about an eco-friendly approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, and should be encouraged to preserve their natural environment.
  2. Conservation of nature: Planting trees should counteract deforestation and soil erosion.
  3. Income generation: Fruits should increase the income of rural families and help them to produce beyond subsistence agriculture.

We found that the children enjoyed the tree planting event and vividly remember the day.  The tree planting event enriched the rural curriculum and equipped the students with knowledge about the benefits of trees and green development.  Seeing the glance in the children’s eyes when they talked about the tree planting event gave me great joy. It struck me that all students included trees after we asked them to draw their dream school.

Obviously, they value trees highly and could even give multiple reasons why trees are beneficial for example for clean air, shadow and a welcoming atmosphere. Furthermore, the students and teachers expressed a demand for more fruit and forest trees, as well as herbs and flowers in order to enhance the welcoming atmosphere at schools even more.

 Most of the schools care well for the trees, however, there can be a water problem in the summer. Building wells would address this problem and would benefit the whole community. We detected some cases where the trees died due to water shortages.  We also found in cases that new principals were not aware of the High Atlas Foundation due to their recent hiring, or when the contact person for HAF left the school.  Therefore, thorough monitoring and control is essential, as HAF is dedicated to do.

 Communication and training is highly important to increase the positive impact of Sami’s Project. Involving parents associations, teachers, students and the HAF to a combined force, will strengthen contacts and therefore benefit the community as a whole.  The High Atlas Foundation will continue to monitor Sami’s Project carefully and motivate the participants to show sufficient self-commitment via special training sessions and community meetings. This will thereby better guarantee that the trees will grow to be strong and healthy. Simultaneously, communities are already getting trained to raise their voice and participate in projects in order to change their environment for the better.

 One example of how community efforts can make an extraordinary change is the Boaaza school outside of Marrakech. They started with just one classroom, no wall, no toilets and no trees. The HAF helped to build separate bathrooms for boys and girls and planted fruit trees (funded by Katharine L’Heureux at Giving Beauty). Two years later these trees have grown to be strong and already produced fruits. The profits of this fruits will help the school to build another classroom in the future.

 Overall, it was a great pleasure to see the literal fruits of HAF’s hard work over the past years and to learn from the past three years will make our project even more sustainable.

 We hope that you give to expand Sami’s Project with schoolchildren in marginalized communities in Morocco.

 Benefits of Sami’s Project:

  • Students gained extensive knowledge about the benefits of trees for green development and their environment
  • Trees created an inviting atmosphere in the schools
  • Once mature, the trees will create income, clean air, and shadow and counteract soil erosion and deforestation

Reasons why the project has been less successful in some schools:

  • Lack of water, especially during summer, due to lack of wells
  • More communication and training needed to ensure proper fostering of trees      
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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 of 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.

###

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

 

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No plastic bag announcement
No plastic bag announcement

Dear Friends,

School may be out, but children are enjoying the beautiful hills and landscape of the Atlas Mountains! What a great time for children to learn of the importance of the environment, how to be stewards, and practice their sustainable environmental practices.

In particular, since July 1, Morocco has put into force a no plastic bag policy. This means throughout the Kingdom, everyone is using paper bags, napsacks, reusable bags, or trolleys for their shopping, consumption or carying needs. For school youth to be a part of this great iniatitive will change the environmental landscape for years to come! 

Furthermore, the COP 22 is coming to Marrakech in November. This international event is bound to keep Morocco on the stage as one of the leading countries in efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Your continued support would not only support the Moroccan Government efforts, but also the efforts of each individual youth within their community to bring sound natural resource management practices into action. 

We are at the cusp of an exciting, sustainable future and the children of Sami's Project are the future generation to make it prosper. 

 

Links:

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It is our sincere pleasure to convey to you that during this 2016 planting season we distributed and planted 20,400 fruit trees with 120 schools located in nine provinces of Morocco, including 42 municipalities.

 The attached tables summarize the locations, the tree varieties and the number of students (130,000 total) that participated in this national effort. We call this initiative Sami’s Project in loving memory of the sweet child and his complete love of nature.  We are grateful to Sami’s father Rachid, the Embassy of Switzerland, YSL Beaute and the very kind individuals in Morocco and the United States who supported this project.

 In addition, we highly appreciate the Education Delegation of the Province of Ifrane for our partnership agreement that enables planting community fruit tree nurseries on land lend by schools. We are also thankful for the schools in Smimou and Boujdour who also kindly lent land for this national agricultural imperative.

 Tthese initiatives raise the consciousness of our children in regards to their stewardship of the natural environment and the enormous health and profitability that comes with organic cultural practices.

 It is our humble hope that the next planting season and all the ones that may follow that together and with ever more partners we may plant with the children of Morocco as far and as wide as possible.                                     

It is our sincere pleasure to convey to you that during this 2016 planting season we distributed and planted 20,400 fruit trees with 120 schools located in nine provinces of Morocco, including 42 municipalities.

The attached tables summarize the locations, the tree varieties and the number of students (130,000 total) that participated in this national effort. We call this initiative Sami’s Project in loving memory of the sweet child and his complete love of nature.  We are grateful to Sami’s father Rachid, the Embassy of Switzerland, YSL Beaute and the very kind individuals in Morocco and the United States who supported this project.

In addition, we highly appreciate the Education Delegation of the Province of Ifrane for our partnership agreement that enables planting community fruit tree nurseries on land lend by schools. We are also thankful for the schools in Smimou and Boujdour who also kindly lent land for this national agricultural imperative.

Tthese initiatives raise the consciousness of our children in regards to their stewardship of the natural environment and the enormous health and profitability that comes with organic cultural practices.

It is our humble hope that the next planting season and all the ones that may follow that together and with ever more partners we may plant with the children of Morocco as far and as wide as possible.

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High Atlas Foundation

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @haffdtn
Project Leader:
Fatima Zahra Laaribi
New York City, NY United States
$40,298 raised of $50,000 goal
 
576 donations
$9,702 to go
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