Since we reported last, we launched an exciting series of environmental activities at Dar Taliba with our local partner Moroccan Biodiversity & Livelihoods Association. We kicked off our new programme with an interactive workshop called “What is biodiversity?”, during which we talked about biodiversity in the High Atlas, played a game to identify threats to biodiversity, and exchanged lots of ideas about what humans can do to take better care of nature.
During our second activity, we organised a quiz on High Atlas fauna and flora, including some local aromatic and medicinal plants such as thyme and rosemary. We held an ethnobotanical tour in the school garden to discover other local plants and to learn about their different uses during a session on health benefits of medicinal plants. For example, we learned that lavender helps relieve stress and that sage can be used to treat digestive problems such as stomach pains, amongst others.
This year, and for the first time at Dar Taliba, we celebrated Earth Day on 22 April. We started the day with a plastic clean up in and around Dar Taliba, to raise awareness about how plastic threatens the health of our planet. In less than 30 minutes, we collected over 10 full bags of plastic waste, which encouraged us to come up with simple ideas to reduce our plastic waste, such as bringing a bag when you go to the store instead of accepting a single-use plastic bag.
After our plastic collection, we continued to celebrate Earth Day by crafting a beautiful promise tree, colouring drawings and making paintings of the things we love most about our planet. We were impressed by the creative talent of the students and are proud of all the promises they made to the Earth.
In March, we also kicked off our annual permaculture training programme in the school garden. Building on the expertise of our team members, we organised several sessions on specific topics including on seed collection and seed saving. We also organised a training on vegetable cultivation during which we learned how to plant and grow tomato seeds. The tomatoes the girls planted are growing fast as you will see in the pictures below.
“It's just amazing to see how young girls are curious about their environment, and how they interact with us during sessions,” Dar Taliba coordinator Sabah says. “I believe that thanks to these activities, they are now more aware about the richness of their landscapes and they appreciate it more.”
Thanks to the generous donations of our GlobalGiving friends, we are able to support all these wonderful activities to the 112 students in residence. We are grateful that we are able to continue to grow this green space for young women, despite all the COVID19 challenges we faced last year.
Until our next report, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram or visit our website for more updates about new activities at the Dar Taliba school garden and the students.
Plastic clean up around the Dar Taliba grounds
Making promises to the earth on a promise tree
(Left) planting tomato seeds and (Right) watching
Planting of a tomato plant
Art activity on Earth Day