Created in 2002, the aim of the “Friends of Ait Bouguemez Association for the development, environment and tourism of the mountain area” is to improve the welfare and living conditions of the population of this region, within the context of an integrated and sustainable development framework. The objective is to improve and diversify the income sources of the poorest families, especially those of women.
We strive to achieve this through three key lines of action: promoting income-generating activities; providing support and assistance to the school-age children living in the mountain region; and encouraging the development of mountain tourism while respecting and protecting the environment.
This is the context in which we were operating when we began to look at the various organisations (private/public associations) in the hopes of securing financial and technical support to help us to carry out our projects.
We have already implemented a number of initiatives, such as the establishment of a mobile medical clinic. 500 people have received care, and 70 people have subsequently received cataract operations.
A few of our association’s other initiatives:
• Establishment of four kindergartens in the upper valley of the Central High Atlas mountains among the douars (groups of fixed or mobile habitations), in partnership with the National Mutual Aid Society and the National Education Society.
• Construction of a market space for selling local goods and produce from the valley of Ait Bouguemez (honey, walnuts, walnut oil, apples, cheese, woven goods, knitted goods, embroidery and carved wooden objects).
• Creation of the women’s agricultural cooperative for processing regional products (walnut oil production, with support from BMCI for purchasing a canning machine).
While the list of projects that we still hope to achieve is long, we remain optimistic and ambitious about the success of a number of projects that we will be pursuing in partnership with our sponsors and the National Mutual Aid Society. These include annual programs for functional literacy and informal education; the second stage of the proposed distribution of 200 lambs to 66 women from the mountain region; organising celebrations for the end of the school year, including prize giving ceremonies; and organising sporting events and theatrical performances for the children from the Talsanant Ait Bouguemez school.
All efforts to support the association have an impact. The region of Ait Bouguemez deserves our involvement, our commitment and support; it’s a region that needs everything and every one of us.
The Friends of Ait Bouguemez association is a beneficiary of the Helping Hand program of BMCI Foundation in Morocco.