At the High Atlas Foundation with our community partners, we have learned together that empowered people have self-belief, experience depths of self-discovery, and have capacities and confidence to assess and then make decisions. Empowered people forge and implement plans of actions for development that are considerate of a range of social and environmental factors, are inclusive of all interested people and sectors, and are sustainable.
For years, we believed — and acted accordingly — that if only the historically-denied and controlled groups of humanity were integrated into decision-making processes that impact upon their lives, then outcomes will be fair and equitable. However, what we learned was that first assisting people as they heighten their own liberation, and understanding relationships and conditions that may hold them back, are necessary predecessors so that they can make their best decisions. At HAF, communities first envision, affirm, and know their recourses before planning and creating the projects to uplift their families and regions.
Our everlasting gratitude is to the nearly 700 women in 10 provinces who participated in one of the 24 four-day workshops to catalyse their role as change agents. Cooperatives developed, girls returned to school, familial harmony rose, and greater financial independence was achieved.
On this day, we call out to all potentially interested partners and all desiring participants to further embark with us on this empowered life course.
Our deep gratitude extends to the nation of Morocco that has built the policy, legal, and reform frameworks for launching and supporting greater freedoms for the benefit of women and girls. It is upon all of us to help ensure fulfilment in participation, especially in regard to rural girls’ education, particularly secondary and high schools and universities being of utmost importance.