Communities decide what is in their best interests
By Lynn Sheppard - Project & Development Manager
vitally important water
The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) is a Moroccan-US organisation dedicated to participatory development approaches that build partnerships for projects determined by the participating communities themselves. The HAF philosophy is to create an inclusive process that emphasizes the participation of disadvantaged groups and uses methods of community planning towards the realization of development projects.
Access to clean water is one of the most serious problems affecting rural communities in Morocco. There is a rate of 19 per cent of infant mortality in the region where we are implementing this project, four times the national average, and it is directly related to drinking water. We continue to work with the people of rural villages in Taroudant Province – not only to construct infrastructure to provide clean drinking water, but also to help them pursue other dreams and priorities. We are also working in this area on women’s cooperatives, agricultural terracing and irrigation and fruit tree orchards. In addition, we work in other areas of Morocco to transfer this experience to other rural and disadvantaged communities.
The absolute essence of HAF’s work is that communities decide what is in their best interests. In making this decision, HAF facilitates the inclusion of those who might ordinarily be excluded or marginalised and seeks to support the sustainable development of the communities’ rich human resources, in particular women and young people. In training community members to work in participative approaches, the training itself encourages the formulation of ideas, priorities and development projects – as well as ensuring a corps of local leaders trained in techniques necessary for their implementation. In this way, the learning is experiential and participants learn by doing.
Although the backbone of the HAF approach has always been participatory development, the Foundation has come a long way from its roots in the High Atlas Mountains and its first tree-planting projects. Wit projects like this one and those which flow from this experience,we are now helping the communities help themselves in eight of Morocco’s 62 Provinces and Prefectures.
It is thanks to our many supporters, friends and donors like you that we are able to carry out this important work. Thank you and thanks to GlobalGiving for your commitment to HAF and to the people of Morocco.
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