While the girls at the Dar Taliba boarding house will not return school until 1st October, we have a lot of exciting updates to share since our last report.
During the months of May and June, we continued our garden training programme at the Dar Taliba school garden with local partner Moroccan Biodiversity & Livelihoods Association. Through practical trainings, the girls learned about pest control and plant health by preparing an organic pesticide with baking soda and black soap. We also held a workshop on the commercialisation of medicinal and aromatic plants, which is an important source of income for local communities in the High Atlas. During this workshop, we introduced ways to valorise and transform local plants into marketable products such as essential oils, herbal teas, soaps and other cosmetic products.
We celebrated the end of the school year with a delicious cooking workshop led by Dar Taliba cook Aïcha. To ensure knowledge transfer about traditional plant uses between generations, Aïcha shared some traditional recipes using local medicinal plants, which the girls have been growing in their school garden. The result was a healthy home cooked tajine (meal in a earthenware pot) and a delicious Tagula o'Asengar (corn porridge), an Amazigh dish usually prepared to celebrate the new agriculture year.We are grateful for the support of our GlobalGiving donors, which allows us to continue growing our school garden and to offer an environmental education programme for the Dar Taliba girls.
Do you remember the educational manual we mentioned back in January? We are happy to share that we produced the final result “Biodiversity: in the Moroccan High Atlas and the World” and printed 500 copies for current and future students at Dar Taliba. The manual includes 5 chapters (Biodiversity hotspots, Climate Change, Threats to biodiversity, Plastic pollution and Sustainable development goals), and will serve as a great tool for students to increase their awareness on local biodiversity and ways on how to support its conservation. In addition, this resource can also be used by teachers to inform their lesson plans.
We held a final workshop and manual distribution ceremony during which the Dar Taliba students and local team welcomed a special visitor: the Australian Ambassador to Morocco! In addition to generous donations from our GlobalGiving friends, our Dar Taliba school garden project received significant support from the Australian Embassy for this past year’s educational programme and the environmental manual.The students were proud to show the Ambassador and his family around the garden, and they all participated in an intergenerational workshop on traditional land use practices in the High Atlas towards the end of their visit.
While we are impatiently waiting for the girls to start school again, we designed and installed two educational displays in the school garden that showcase local fauna and flora and inform students as well as visitors on local biodiversity (see photo below).
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.
Traditional cooking workshop
Distribution of environmental education manuals
New educational display
Traditional dish Tagula o'Asengar (corn porridge)