Updated: Jul 13
By Sanae Benaadim HAF’s Office Manager
Every third Monday of January, HAF takes the initiative of planting trees in different places around Morocco. I heard many positive things about this special day back when I was a volunteer. And I wished to be part of it one day! President Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir, USAID Driver Lahcen Ait Ouatouch, the volunteer Giovanni Ferreira Cunha, Tree Monitoring Officer Hajiba Boumasmar and I headed towards Lala Takerkoust to the Ajbane Al Olfa Cooperative that produces goat cheese first before planting trees with the farmers. We met with the president of the cooperative, who shared with us glimpses of their daily hard work, such as feeding 60 sheep every day for six and a half dirhams per animal.
Hajiba and I started the activities with a speech about HAF and its missions with Moroccan communities, how it is important to plant trees around Morocco, and why HAF is working on this project. We talked with farmers, who freely expressed their gratitude towards us. They talked about the problems that they face daily, and we shared information regarding planting pomegranate trees.
After finishing the workshop, we gave the one thousand trees to the farmers. With the help of Mr. Hassan Chaarouf – to whom I offer sincere thanks for transporting us to the beautiful planting sites – we drove to see the first farmer and to plant the pomegranate trees. I saw the farmer’s strength and his love towards his land. In fact, he told us that he had previously refused many lucrative offers to sell his land for buildings. We continued planting trees for two other farmers who lived far from each other, approximately 5 to 10 kilometers away. I was delighted at the sight of the silky soil and its color that matches the color of the mountains. It was an enjoyable atmosphere with hearts full of hope for how these trees will prosper in the future.