One of GlobalGiving’s main partners in Morocco is High Atlas Foundation (HAF), which has several projects in rural Berber and Arab villages in the southern part of the country. On Wednesday, Shonali and I went to see two sites with Abderrahim (in grey t-shirt on left), the project manager, who was nice enough to show us around, make introductions to local leaders, translate from Tamazight Berber, and overall be an awesome guide and resource.
The first project we saw was a tree nursery in the rural village of Tadmamt. The project, to plant 50,000 walnut and cherry trees, is one of many tree nurseries HAF has started in the last two years. The trees stay in the nursery for one or two years, and are then given to local families, who can sell the produce at local markets and use the seeds to plant more trees. The walnuts are a local variety, while the cherries are sometimes grafted onto local varieties.
The trees are cared for a rotation of volunteers from the surrounding Berber villages. One of the men, Omar (above in the hat, with some walnut saplings), showed us the plants in different stages of development and the irrigation systems they had rigged up. The nursery is located in a forest, and so we also met with a government official from the forestry department to talk about the importance of the trees (they help combat soil erosion and flooding in the mountains), as well as some of the people who have received the trees.
High Atlas Foundation has several projects on GlobalGiving! You can read more about and donate to the cherry and walnut tree nurseries in Tadmamt here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/community-walnut-and-cherry-tree-nursery-in-morocco/.
Aliza is in Morocco, Spain and France as a part of GlobalGiving’s In The Field program. Follow along at alizainthefield.tumblr.com or on Twitter @alizaapp.