The Sahara-Roots Foundation was founded in 2008 to help create awareness amongst the population in the area of the M’hamid village in the South of Morocco, about the importance of maintaining their beautiful environment. The activities are focussed on planting trees against desertification, assisting in clean-up campaigns and in stimulating the local school children by distributing and reading Wanda Hebly’s own-designed booklet “Me and my Sahara” in the French/Arabic language, in co-operation with local associations.
Between 2008 and 2015 Sahara Roots has participated in more than 16 tree planting and environmental educational activities together with different primary and high schools in M’hamid, Zagora and Ouarzazate. We have helped with the organization and have participated in Earth day activities as well as Taragalte Festivals. We have also had several meetings with government officials so as to get their support and to be able to engage with the local schools and people. We have been on Moroccan National TV on the following programmes to help create awareness on environmental issues :
Al Mouja and 2M:
“Sahara” because M’hamid lies in the Moroccan Sahara
“Roots” are the origins from which we as people came
“Roots” are the roots of trees and plants
“Roots” are necessary to keep the sand in it’s place
“Roots” are needed to keep traditions and culture in tact
Sahara Roots is a family foundation. The president/founder is Wanda Hebly, the vice-president is Richard Hebly, the secretary is Wendelien Hebly, the treasurer is Adriaan Hebly en Laurens Hebly is responsible for communication, marketing and design.
About Wanda Hebly, founder of Sahara Roots
Since 1998 Wanda has worked as a tour guide during hiking and culture trips in the deserts of Jordan as well as Morocco. Her interest in desert areas was awakened during a five-year stay in the Middle East. Wanda loves to share her passion for the desert areas of Morocco and Jordan, as well as their inhabitants and their different cultures during these trips. Wanda works part-time for Valerius Reizen in Amsterdam.
Since 2007 Wanda has been working closely together with- and accompanied to Morocco by her friend and Arabic teacher Ilham Attar-Bakal of Noor Translations (+31-(0)35-6213681). Ilham has been (and still is) instrumental in bridging the communication between the local people and us and she is energizing our initiative tremendously! Ilham works as a translator for the Media and various Governmental organizations in The Netherlands. Her languages are Dutch, English, Arabic, Koerdi(Sorani) and Turkmeens. .
Goals of the Sahara Roots Foundation
- to work together with other foundations, such as L’Association Zaila, in the area of Mhamid el Ghizlane
- to help preserve the Moroccan Sahara and provide a better future for its inhabitants through educational activities
- to help the inhabitants of the Sahara become aware of their threatened environment
- to donate the booklet “Me and My Sahara ” to schools and children in South Morocco as a tool to help teach about the delicate balance of nature in their environment.
- to help sell the booklet “Me and My Sahara” in the Netherlands and Morocco in order to be able to donate the booklets to schools in Morocco.
- to help find funds for example, by giving presentations, that can be used for example to plant trees such as tamarisk, in order to help fight the problem of desertification
- to invest in long term sustainable development projects such as planting of trees, with the help of the unique Groasis Waterboxx system. With this new invention we have been able to increase the survival rate of the trees that we planted substantially.
- to encourage Eco-tourism
Partnerships Family Sbaï L’Association Zaila —- Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2015
In January 2003 Wanda met the family Sbaï and was impressed by their dedication towards the people and the area of M’hamid El Ghizlane. During the years to follow Wanda learned more about the history, culture and nature of this area. Halim en Ibrahim Sbaï told fascinating stories about the long caravan journeys of their ancestors between Mali, Mauritania en Morocco and Wanda realised that again another way of life was lost.
“L’Association Zaila” is an initiatief of the family Sbaï and others from the area of M’hamid. The family Sbaï help to keep the memories of the past alive for future generations as well as actively working on sustainable development projects in this area so as
to help find a balance between life in the Sahara as well as the influences of the modern world as it is today.
Financial report of the Sahara Roots Foundation
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2014
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2013
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2012
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2011
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2010
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2009
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2007 and 2008
Financials of the Sahara Roots Foundation 2015