Since it was founded, ACF has managed and implemented projects that directly promote environmental sustainability in rural Morocco and contribute to the creation of a healthier planet. In response to requests from the communities we collaborate with, we are increasing our focus in 2013 on environmental sustainability with the launch of two new programs, the Sustainable Farming Program and the Zero Waste/Garbage/Recycling Initiative. Starting in 2013, three of ACF’s programs are directly focused on the long-term environmental sustainability of the communities we work in. An additional two programs will have indirect impact.
In recognition of our environmental efforts ACF was approved as a 1% for the Planet member. We are extremely honored to be a part of this select group of non profits that are working toward a healthier planet.
The environmental sustainability focus of the Sustainable Food Systems Program and the Zero Waste/Garbage/Recycling Initiative are easily understood by donors. However, in addition to these two programs, our founding initiative of Cultural Preservation, which is focused on the restoration and reuse of historic buildings, has the environment as a primary focus. Preservation and the successive adaptive reuse of historic buildings is one of the largest recycling efforts a community can engage in. The use of natural, locally found, and harvested building materials lessons the introduction of modern building materials and methods to rural communities in the developing world. These modern materials and methods are often harmful to the environment without proper disposal of their byproducts. Dependence on transportation, fossil fuels, is also decreased when local materials are employed. Additionally, the reuse of existing buildings uses significantly less materials than new construction, reducing the consumption of the world’s resources.
ACF works with a holistic, integrated approach to development and understands that a community’s needs cannot be solved in isolation because all community needs are interrelated. Therefore, ACF’s programs incorporate crossover elements. For example, the Elementary School Tutoring Program will be a key partner in our Zero Waste/Garbage/Recycling Initiative. By targeting schoolchildren we will be able to educate the future community leaders about the importance of environmental sustainability. Additionally, the Community Health Awareness Days portion of our health initiative has evolved over the past two years and now includes a focus on garbage and it’s impact on individual, family, and community health. These two programs now have a secondary focus on the environment.
ACF believes that the best way to make an impact is to address a problem from all sides; this is what we are doing with environmental sustainability and its inclusion, either as a primary or secondary focus, in all of our programs.
All of ACF’s projects emphasize long-term local sustainability, environmental stewardship, community education and capacity building components.