The High Atlas Foundation has planted over one million trees across Morocco, helping around 50,000 people out of poverty. HAF's nurseries and fruit tree plantations show how Morocco can produce efficiently and profitably a billion trees and plants. These projects also show how Moroccans can overcome existential challenges shared with other nations in the region and the world: pervasive rural poverty, the marginalization of youth and women and land degradation . Other HAF projects include: the construction of drinking water systems in villages that are among the most distant (by decreasing infant mortality by half); the creation of women's cooperatives, including agricultural terraces and installation of drip irrigation systems (in providing social services and employment); building schools, housing for teachers and bathrooms to schools, and training in participatory planning and arboriculture and organic farming. Due to the success of the "One Million Trees campaign," in 2014, HAF aims to expand and improve Sami's Project to educate and impact a wider audience with the following steps towards:
- Educating the public, especially young people, in the preservation of the environment, and promoting the benefits of small-scale tree showing the direct impact of innovative farming techniques on family incomes.
- Encouraging youth to defend their own interests in education, socio-economic community development and environmental conservation through the participatory approach.
- Enhancing the activities of civil society and strengthening linkages and exchanges between schools, communities, and other partners to build strong school communities in order to support disadvantaged youth in rural Morocco.
- Maximizing opportunities to improve, disseminate, and utilize the project results to other regions in Morocco
An important objective of HAF is to establish the need to create and implement sustainable projects that benefit entire communities. By strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in the agricultural sector and project management, community members will have access to a wider range of pathways to economic prosperity. This entrepreneurial model includes preparing the younger generation for economic growth by teaching farming skills that can be reproduced in their homes with trees provided by Sami's Project.
In collaboration with the Organice Cooperative Nursery, environmental and educational projects will build on the activities carried out by HAF in the province of Essaouira, exposing a larger number of rural citizens to the Foundations' participatory approaches. This will allow further identification of needs and potential human development projects in rural areas, including in the participating schools. Activities preceding planting in the Provinces of Al Haouz and Rhamna led to the development of construction projects such as toilets, accommodation for teachers and students and also to projects in the field of hygiene.
HAF and the El Kouhen family are thankful to the support of so many contributions that have helped this project thrive and grow. Now that HAF has planted one million trees, we look forward to planting one billion trees so that thousands of young people may benefit from Sami's project and his legacy.