Sami’s Project

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Immediate Goals: Sami’s Project endeavors to enhance and enrich primary school education and facilities, particularly for rural students in Morocco.  

These goals may take several forms: environmental education, tree planting activities, and the provision of improved infrastructure – to create conditions conducive to learning.

Thus far HAF has engaged 67 rural schools with Sami’s Project, and intends to bring this environmental education program to an additional 50 schools over the next two years. Since 2012, HAF has planted with 67 schools in six provinces has developed infrastructure for clean drinking water systems, gender segregated bathrooms, and teacher’s housing. HAF also provides tutoring and scholarships to promote continuation into higher education.

Context: Rural Moroccan Students
Students in rural Morocco face profound challenges to gaining an education.  Many students must walk long far distances to attend schools.  The schools themselves are ill-equipped,  and lacking sufficient learning materials as well as basic infrastructure, such as clean drinking water systems and toilets. Classrooms are overcrowded, preventing struggling students in particular from receiving the individual attention they need. There is considerable inequality between rural and urban schooling systems, and profound gender inequality in literacy and basic education, since traditional cultural norms prioritize the education of men and boys over women and girls.

About the project
While maintaining its focus on planting activities and local environmentalism, Sami’s Project has expanded to include school infrastructure development to make rural schools more hospitable for students and teachers.  
Providing an environment conducive to learning increases levels of attendance, improves the quality of learning, and increases the likelihood that students will continue to higher levels of education.

HAF's project expands the rural curriculum to address local environmental concerns and empowers young students from families engaged in subsistence agriculture to understand the value of green growth. Sami’s Project teaches students an eco-friendly approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, and encourages youth to preserve their natural environment and adopt life-long behaviors such as recycling and waste management that protect our planet.
 
Inspiration: Sami El Kouhen
The El Kouhen family sadly lost their three-year-old son, Sami, to cancer. Inspired by the love Sami showed for outdoors, his father, Dr. Rachid El Kouhen, created with HAF an initiative to inculcate in young people a love of trees and nature.  

Project Impact
•    In 2013: 5,300 fruit trees  were planted with 28 rural schools in two provinces
•    One teacher's housing unit was built at Mabard School, Rhamna province
•    Four toilets were installed in Arabat School, Rhamna province
•    Two classrooms were built in Rhahla and Labrabish villages, Rhamna province