I’m a programmer by trade and passion. Of my 25 years as a professional, I have participated during 15 years as the director of a very exciting business venture called ilitia Technolgies.
I’m with the aG Foundation thanks to fate, during a trip I made in Easter 2007, as we were exiting the stunning valley of the Tessaout River, I suddenly felt the need to do something, to help these people that had been abandoned by everyone else.
From that day forth, I have “bothered” my friends in order to get this project started… this challenge, this attempt to help these neglected people that are so generous, cheerful and emotive. And once we got the project up and running, I have been doing all it takes to help aG become better and bigger every day.
My ultimate goal is to dynamize the valley in order to help these people that, when I went to visit them, opened their houses, their smiles and their hearts (and who also gave me their hopes and dreams). I hope that this is only the first part of a bigger project that continues to grow due to the concern and need to help those in need, of distributing part of the wealth we have in Europe to those that barely have enough to make ends meet, a situation that isn’t fair due to the enormous lack of equality and help for these people, other human beings just like us who are not treated the same way. For me, the time to act is now, I could not just leave this as a simple comment or a thought filled with sadness, shame or remorse.
I hope you can help us! And thank you very much for everything.
Professionally, I have been working for over 21 years at Telefonica, in several areas and at different positions, and if there is one thing I am grateful for is the opportunity I had to work for a year in Brazil, not only because of the great work experience, but also for how it helped to broaden my horizons on a personal level since it allowed me to experience firsthand a new culture and society.
As for my hobbies, the main one is mountain climbing. I have been with club Geoda for over 22 years, and I’m also the president. Thanks to the mountain sports I enjoy, I have been able to get to know other cultures and their social realities (Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Argentina, etc.).
I have worked as a volunteer at the Telefonica Foundation trying to work along with them when I have the time for it, as well as working with other NGOs.
Finally, I would like to talk a bit about the country where we are developing this project. I was there for the first time 18 years ago, and ever since I have returned over thirteen times, and I have directly observed the improvements made at the underprivileged areas. Improvements that have been slow, but that have given way to new roads, new communication networks, etc. This is why I was greatly surprised when I visited an area I had never been to before, and it felt like I was back at one of my first visits 18 years ago, with the poor people of the valley still being stuck in the past. After my visit, and thanks to Fer’s drive to take this project to the next level, I felt it was very important for me to be a part of this great project.
As is the case with many of the other members of the Foundation, I’m also a programmer. Inside an office working all day long, listening to my coworkers complain about how hard their day to day life is, hearing about all their problems and how unhappy they seem to be.
Ever since my trip to Morocco in 2007, where I witnessed how the poor people of the Tessaout Valley managed to survive each day, I realized that they were leading a life full of problems and hardship, and yet they still smiled every day, they seemed happy… and it is what made me want to help them, and not my “poor” coworkers at the office.
Life in the Valley is full of hardship, full of dangers, no doctors, no drinking water, and no one to look after them. But that’s why we are here, we are helping them now and we welcome everyone who wants to help us give them a decent life for these poor people, to these people that no matter how hard their life is, how many problems and obstacles they must live with, they always give it their best effort, and they always have a warm smile to offer. And that is what pushes me to carry on working in this project. They give us everything they have, why can’t we?
Ever since I was a teenager I have been very passionate about nature, for many years riding around on a horse, traveling between the city and the mountains, businesses and risks, travel and family, enjoying all experiences and retreats that have allowed me to grow as a person… all are priceless.
I always fond of education, of being able to convey and share knowledge, and I did that over the years by teaching kids and teenager at several camps and courses, and I have always tried to convey to my children this passion, respect and conservation for nature, for everything it gives us and for how we can enjoy it.
This permanent search for new experiences is what made me travel to the Atlas, and to discover what has marked a before and after in my life, an incredible moment (right behind the birth of my children): the Berber people.
They have their own culture, they have happily adapted to the environment and their possibilities, they have things we like and things we don’t, but they lack the basic means by which they can lead a proper life.
Thus…why search for something else? I wouldn’t be able to find a better place to constantly grow as a person, and it was time to act! Adults and teenagers are forced to abandon their homes during a huge part of the year in order to look for a job hundreds of kilometers away from their families, women do the housework and take care of their families under unhealthy and poor conditions, the girls and the boys (especially the girls, due to their cultural roots) must operate in what I call: an environment that goes 100% against what has been established as the fundamental human rights of all kids.
It is never too late to act, and I thank you for your cooperation.
I work every day selling services to companies, I go around the market in search of business opportunities, attempting to solve the problems of several companies in the technology area. I face negotiations with businessmen who are very concerned about how to improve their benefits... At the end of the month there are some cool results that allow me to pay a bunch of bills, but I end up feeling as if something is missing.
The Tessaout Project involves something really important, something that energizes me to carry on with all other tasks, something that makes me smile and makes me feel satisfied.
If we add to this, that the current situation of the valley is more in line with something out of the 18th century than with the present, the involvement and response that we find among our Berber friends, as well as everything we can witness while traveling the valley… it is impossible to remain impassible!
Over the last 8 years, I have participated on several development projects in different parts of the world and always during my summer vacations. These experiences have helped me learn, and they have allowed me to observe the huge difference there is between all human beings that inhabit this world. Interestingly these people that could not offer me any tangible goods would gift me enough energy to get through the rest of the year.
I got to know about the Accion Geoda Project at one of the work camps, on 2009. The Tessaout Valley is a magical place, inhabited by a forgotten people within their own country; however, they do not hesitate in opening the doors of their homes without a previous call. Their poverty and their living conditions without access to the bare necessities such as drinking water, health, sanitation or education, are very surprising in a country such as Morocco.
I only spent one week at the Valley during that first trip, but it was more than enough to realize many things. I felt the need for somehow giving back to them all the love, kindness and warmth I had received, to give continuity to the project, to see these kids grow and watch the women learn, definitely it was time that the solidarity trips were to become something more a precious experience within a vacation. I decided to act.
So, why Accion Geoda? Because we have to start somewhere, because it is a project filled with hope and because the smiles of the children of the Valley hit me so hard in a way that only those that pass through the Valley are able to understand.
I believe that we are all part of something bigger and that if we do only a small part of what we are capable of doing we would heal the world, thus creating one that is fairer to everyone. I encourage you to know us and Inshallah!! between all of us we could bring a better life to our friends at the Tessaout Valley, because this is a project for all those who want to join..
Not too long ago my tired soul arrived at the Tessaout Valley. Among the beautiful landscapes and the warm smiles of its people, I managed to find the peace and ease of mind I had searched for during many years.
I received so much from my Berber brothers and sisters that, ever since then, a part of my heart has stayed with them.
The simple essence and noble presence of these people brought back a smile to my face as well as the will to live, and I, along with the continuously growing Accion Geoda family, gave them my little drop of water so that they could improve their precarious and harsh living conditions.
I simply stopped looking at my navel, and by doing so, my eyes were cleansed of all sadness and my heart woke up. I don’t know if it was its people or the serenity and the wild beauty of that place. Maybe it was a mix of both. What I do know is that ever since my first visit to the Tessaout Valley, my soul was reborn and my life started to change into something much more beautiful.
Hi, my name is Abdu.
I’m from a small town called Azilal, in the Moroccan High Atlas, and I teach Spanish as a Foreign Language at a public school here in this area, since 2006. A couple of years later I found, online, a project called “Project Tessaout,” a project created and designed to spark the socioeconomic development of the villages in the Tessaout Valley, a valley that can be catalogued as being very rich but very poor at the same time: rich in values, traditions and landscapes… but poor in regards to infrastructure and in being able to provide the basic needs such as drinking water, health services, and a proper education among others.
My desire to be a part of this project and to feel a useful person hve been my huge push to get deeply involved, without preconditions, with working at the Accion Geoda Foundation. In fact, my conscience, my values, my principles and my personality has forced me to collaborate and contribute, along with my friends, in order to reach the goals set for the Tessaout Project, thus giving the inhabitants of the Valley a small part of the energy we all have within.
“No one has learned the meaning of life until he has subdued his ego in order to serve their brothers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Cooperation and the Development causes in me as many doubts as passions.
It is clear to me that I want to work on this area as a professional , but to me, it looks like very complicated in a world that is becoming increasingly complex. I studied Advertising and Management, and after working for a few years in advertising companies, I decided to have my Master Degree in International Cooperation.
So that a day comes when this cooperation is not needed, so I can go to the Tessaut River´s Valley just on vacations, visiting the friends I have there, as a good friend of mine says.
I am Feli.
I have been employed at the area of Human Resources of Telefonica for many years. There, in addition, I collaborate habitually with Volunteers of Telefonica. Above all .... I am pasionate about nature. I love mountains and everything related to them: doing trekkings, skiing, the snow... The snow and the fresh air produce in me a sensation of indescribable freedom.
I have known Morocco for many years: its mountains, the desssert, its landscapes and, especially, the hospitality and generosity of the people.
I did my first trip to Tessaout's Valley during their Lamb Fest, and felt in love with this people. But it was in my second trip, in January, when I knew in person the hard conditions in which they live. After this, I decided to imply myself actively and work to improve their living conditions. Now I am responsible of the "Education Area" and I am as well so proud to be a part of AG.
I have been doing social work for the last 10 years, but I was looking for something else. I wanted to cooperate with some Ngo who worked outside Spain, but none convinced me or was not the right time for me. One day, like any other day, a workmate told me about his experience as a volunteer at Accion Geoda´s work camps, and at last, everything matched perfectly for me. It did not take me long to contact Ag. I wanted to be there, learn, understand and do my bit…, many things awakened within me and confirmed themselves after the work camp, and finally, I also became a new Ag active member.
The whole project, the energy, the landscape and the effort made by the members of Ag and the local villager of the Tessaout Valley to improve their life standards, made it difficult not to get interested and involved in collaborating with the incoming development.
I am happy because if you are reading, it means you are also interested in the project and maybe you would like to help or collaborate by any means, in improving the life of so many people. All you have to do is take a look at our web site and see that, even though much has been achieved and joy has arrived due to many years of efforts and sacrifices, much more still needs to be done.
Anything I can tell you will not be enough, so I encourage you to contact any of us and to experience all this by yourself. We would love meet you!
Especial Education Teacher and Cultural and Social Entertainer, my two early years passions are now my way of living.
In love with every outdoor activity, Nature, Morocco, and, ever since I knew of it, the TESSAOUT PROJECT, its valley and every single corner of it, where I have found real inner harmony.
There is no single day in which I did not recall the present of their smiles and how my world changed ever since I met them.
I am proud to belong to AG´s Volunteer Group, a family who unify efforts to improve the valley´s inhabitants lives.
Would you like to become part of our family?
Social educator with project of specialization in Cooperation and Sustainable Development.
Passionate about travel, human-cultural exchange and in love with the Tessaout Valley since the first time I had opportunity to know it and find myself immersed in its day to day.
That first time I lived for a month in different villages of the Valley. Soon I realized that they had something in common: their magic, possibly a direct result of the happiness and purity that their people transmit.
Spectacular scenery; the ones that seems that you can only find in photographs of the best magazines of nature. Smiles, commonly toothless; but the purest I have ever received. Emotion run high in constant ups and downs. Often-bittersweet feeling. Bittersweet while you see the resource situation in which they live but the philosophy and joy with which they live. Intense looks full of expression. Gratitude. Effort. Simplicity. I do not think it is possible to describe the Valley without experiencing it, but something like that would be an approach to define it.
The first time I said goodbye to this place I knew that I would return, that it had only been the beginning and that if I had fallen there it was for something. In that month, I heard about Geoda Action through its beneficiaries. They spoke with gratitude - once again - and with enthusiasm. Later, I contacted the Foundation and now I am part of the team; sharing the excitement of this great little project, this great little family.
Because it is the time to act and because achieve a fairer world is everyone responsibility. Because the small thing that we each of us do becomes a sum of something great.
I invite you to know the project, to know the Tessaout Valley and if it moves you, encourage you to collaborate in the way you think and can.
"Let's do something now that we have a chance! The call we have just heard is addressed to the whole of humanity. But in this place, at this moment, humanity is us. "S. Beckett
If you stop to think about it, it is very sad to realize how disgustingly fortunate we are when we witness the poor living conditions of those not as fortunate as us. We continue to worry about how we still own an old TV and not an LCD or a plasma TV, or how our cars have a lower HP than our neighbor’s, and how our GPS isn’t as big as theirs.
Please, don’t get me wrong. Unfortunately, I’m not the exception. I spend 10 to 12 hours each day locked up inside of an office, distant and stressed out, and when it is finally time to go home I drive all cranky because we all think that the expressway M-30 is ours and ours alone since we always pay our taxes, taxes that provide us with all the privileges of a society in a developed country.
What more could you ask for in order to be happy?
Actually, we can be happy with only a few things, even though most people don’t even have 10% of these “few” things”. I decided to participate in this project to try to help those in the Tessaout region so that we can slowly increase that 10%... because they deserve it and need it, and because every time I visit the Tessaout region I feel the need to compensate them 500% for all the kindness, altruism and acceptance we receive from the Berber people and their children.
Yolanda Rodriguez Buzon
Hi! I’m Yola.
With every trip, our ties with the people of Ifolou grow stronger.
It is something very hard to explain, in this small website space, something something as big as what we live with them, which is so great for all of us.
What little improvements we have accomplished are already a huge improvement for them.
We also have an unspoken exchange in place. We bring them a bit of hope and help them obtain supplies and archive their goals. And they gift us daily lessons in life filled with laughter, love, affection, tenderness and of life itself.
We want to carry on! We want to bring an education to more boys and girls, we want their parents to learn how to write and read, we want to acknowledge and certify their teachers and, most importantly, we want to ensure the involvement of the authorities with all of us!
I want to say thank you to everyone that collaborates on this project. And for those of you that are reading this for the first time… browse our photos! Visit one of the work sites. Get in touch with us!
We want to help you help them!
I have been extremely lucky in being born, out of mere chance, in a place in the world where I have always had access to everything I needed.
I feel that I have, as is the case for everyone that lives in this highly privileged part of the planet, a moral responsibility towards other human beings that have not been so lucky.
And said responsibility, which to me is an unavoidable commitment, means I have to do something. Do something while being cheerful and humble.
Irene Huerta Peco
I got involved with the Tessaout project thanks to Maria who was able to convey the needs and hardship endured by the people of the valley. She told me about this with the strength and passion that was needed to awaken in me the same enthusiasm to be a part of it and to collaborate as much as I can. The reason is simple: I believe that if we can help those in need so that they can improve their living conditions and their expectations for the future, then we have a moral obligation to do so. Even more after having met them and after spending some days with them, enjoying their hospitality and generosity, and after all the experiences and emotions from those few days I was convinced that we have something to give… but it is nothing compared to what they can give us, without them even knowing it…
And if a group of people such as this one, small and with few resources but with enthusiasm and a great desire to help and to do things right, is being able to put its two cents so that these people can have a better life, imagine what the whole world could accomplish. Can you imagine it?
I walked through the Atlas mountains and I got astonished by the beauty and the empowerment of their people. So here I am, taking part of Ag´s team, contributing my bit and learning so much from these wise women.
My work consists in giving support to the health promoters we have in the villages, organize and take care of the medical clinic, attend and cure patients, and above all, have meetings with villagers, both, men and women, to interchange knowledge and clear doubts.
My main goal here is to create an awareness campaign to eradicate the existing endemic goiter by encouraging the permanent use of iodized salt, hard job!!!!!!
Redouane El Kiram
That is me, dressed in black and behind the elderly man, helping out Begoña.
My name is Redouane, and I teach Spanish as a Foreign Language at Demnate, my hometown.
My first contact with aG was a modest experience as a translator/interpreter. Back then we were 3 friends: Jawad, Abdu and me, and in the end it became apparent how we all had the same dream as our partners at aG: to make the world a better place that would allow us to bring a more dignified way of life to our brothers at the Tessaout Valley.
My current responsibility for the projects of the foundation grows every day, and now all three of us are part of the foundation. I now work in the Health and Sanitation area of the foundation.
This has been a life changing experience. I have learnt that a man always has a right to look down upon another human being if it is to help him stand up, that a boy, and orphan like Ayub will forever hold the hand of his sister-in-law, because she would possibly has given him what his own mother could never give. I have learnt that we all aspire to living at the top but that we don’t know that true happiness lies in the way we climb the mountain, etc...
There are so many things I have learnt as well as confirmed during all of these journeys full of self-discovery, those trips of feelings and thinking.
“My God! If I could, I would give wings to this boy, but I would let him learn to fly on his own, and to a man and a woman I would tell them that I love them, I’m sorry, I would say please, and all the loving words one knows. I'd definitely value all of these things, not because of what they’re worth but because of what they mean.” Gabo Gabo.