- "Industry: A world where we can renewable energy and innovative knowledge equally with one another.
- "Innovation: A world where humans can advance and progress together.
- "Infrastructure: A world with no slums, where everyone has access to sustainable resilient materials to build a safe, secure home."
Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2010 promoting local culture and sustainable initiatives through education and the integration of scientific ingenuity in Southwest Morocco. We operate North Africa's largest fog harvesting project, providing villages with access to potable water. Our Water School and Girls' E-Learning Programs build capacity in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Through our Ethnographic Field School, researchers and students engage with local communities in Agadir, Sidi Ifni, and the rural Aït Baamrane region for meaningful cross-cultural exchange.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Sunday, October 23, 2016
|The Environmental Youth Ambassadors recently visited the SOS Children's Village |
to deliver a lesson on Water for Sanitation & Hygiene
Saturday, October 22, 2016
|A standard toilet facilty in Dar Si Hmad's partner fog villages in Aït Baamrane|
In 2016, the alarms are already flashing crimson red, and the call for action is pressing.
The United Nations set this #6 goal because managing water sustainably will not just allow humanity to better manage food and energy production, contribute to decent work and economic growth, preserve natural water ecosystems and biodiversity, and take action on climate change - but also literally save the lives of 2.2 billion people who are currently dying every year, simply because they do not have clean, potable running water or adequate toilets.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”-Nelson Mandela
- Help poor countries benefit from better education.
- Create equity education between boys and girls.
- Encourage the students to be more creative and innovative.
- Build peace in parallel with education.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more about how we are doing this, the Sustainable Development Goals, COP22, and our work in quality education for all.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
- The world’s largest operational fog-harvesting system located in Aït Baamrane in Southwest Morocco. The system includes 600 m2 of nets that harvest fresh water from fog, serving more than 400 rural Berber residents, the majority of them women. Rural women in these villages once held the frequently burdensome role of fetching water. Having water piped directly into their homes means that residents no longer need to travel long distances for potable water. By controlling the household water supply and monitoring the fog system, women continue to maintain power as water guardians.
- Women's Empowerment trainings ensure that women of all backgrounds have the skills they need to take on leadership and decision-making roles, allowing for truly sustainable development.
- Dar Si Hmad’s E-Learning program helps young women in Aït Baamrane to succeed in national exams, opening doors to a wider range of opportunities and experiences.
- The Water School uses environmental concerns to engage rural communities in experiential learning. Children aged 7-13 explore the societal and natural realities of their world, expanding their capacities for and understandings of global change.
- Through the Ethnographic Field School, Dar Si Hmad invites international researchers and students to be a part of their inspiring work with local communities by facilitating academic and cultural programs and service learning. These visits provide new experiences for communities and help reduce the many stereotypes frequently held about rural women.
While today's celebrations focus on the specific situations of rural women, it is important to also acknowledge the value of rural women to economic growth, food security, and people's empowerment. As former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan said, "When women thrive, all of society benefits."
Join Dar Si Hmad on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more about how we are promoting and empowering rural women to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Each of the Sustainable Development Goals includes a number of specific targets. In our lead-up to COP22, Dar Si Hmad will be highlighting a few of the SDGs and how we partner with local communities and global initiatives to make progress.
For the United Nations and SDGs, Gender Equality means:
- ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere;
- eliminating all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation;
- eliminating all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation; recognizing and valuing unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate;
- ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life;
- ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences;
- undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws;
- enhancing the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women; and
- adopting and strengthening sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all level.
Tomorrow for the International Day of Rural Women, we will highlight the work we do with Amazigh women in Aït Baamrane's fog villages. Dar Si Hmad conducts bi-monthly capacity-building trainings for women, teaching functional literacy and mobile technologies. The workshops also explore cooperatives as routes to economic empowerment. These seminars were created to ensure that the time saved by the in-home water access brought through our award-winning fog project is invested in future generations of female leaders. The women have subsequently developed tools and skills and are on their way to becoming economically autonomous.
Meanwhile with younger girls, Dar Si Hmad promotes a variety of educational opportunities. Women around the world are discouraged from pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields - as well as higher education in general - by persistent sexist stereotypes. These negative messages sink in at a very early age and are reinforced throughout girls' lives. The Water School seeks to dismantle these internalized ideas through lessons on environmental science, providing opportunities for Berber girls to explore STEM fields. Our Streaming the Water School episode on "Girls in STEM" highlights the Water School's impact on young girls. For teenagers, the Girls' E-Learning program brings computer-based tutorials to young women in rural areas to help them prepare for exams, improving their access to higher education. As young adults, the RISE & THRIVE programs engage university and vocational students in professional skills development.
Nationally, Dar Si Hmad is a member of the Search for Common Ground National Coalition on "Empowerment & Rights". The Coalition focuses on strengthening the advocacy of women's rights in civil society organizations and engages in collaborative, non-adversarial campaigning for legislative reform. Our own Souad Kadi serves as an NGO Representative to the National Coalition to work toward increasing cooperation with key society stakeholders and reducing economic constraints for women.
On the international scale, Dar Si Hmad is proud to be a part of Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn initiative. Let Girls Learn works "to ensure adolescent girls get the education they deserve. The program recognizes that around the world, girls face complex physical, cultural, and financial barriers in accessing education. As a girl grows older the fight to get an education becomes even harder. Her family must be willing to pay school fees. She may have a long, unsafe walk to school. She may be forced to marry. And she often lacks the support she needs to learn. Yet, we know that educating girls can transform lives, families, communities, and entire countries. When girls are educated, they lead healthier and more productive lives. They gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to break the cycle of poverty and help strengthen their societies. It’s time to Let Girls Learn."
In the documentary "We Will Rise: Michelle Obama's Mission to Educate Girls Around the World", the First Lady of the United States, actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto, and CNN's Isha Sesay journey to Morocco and Liberia, where they meet young women overcoming incredible odds to change their lives. You can read more about Michelle Obama's passion for girls' education in this guest piece written by the First Lady for CNN.
Last Tuesday October 11th, in celebration of the International Day of The Girl, "We Will Rise" premiered at The White House. Two of our RISE Alumni, Zahra and Hasna, and our Director Dr Jamila Bargach were invited to The White House to attend the premiere.
We are proud to be working to Let Girls Learn - in Aït Baamrane, Agadir, and around the world.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more about how we are doing this, the Sustainable Development Goals, COP22, and our work to fight for global gender equality and promote sustainable development for all.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
The UN Climate Change Convention is an international plan for action against climate change. The treaty was launched at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. 196 countries have signed the agreement and pledged their support. Each year, representatives of these countries meet at a Conference of the Parties to review progress and decide on next steps. These annual meetings have been held since 1995, when the first Conference of the Parties was held in Berlin. Last December, COP21 was held in Paris.
November 7-18, the city of Marrakech will host foreign heads of state, international diplomats, scientists, lawyers, researchers, journalists, and activists for COP22. In addition to the legal and policy meetings, environmental groups and activists will gather to share ideas and programs that help combat climate change and its impacts.
Dar Si Hmad for Development, Culture and Education is proud to be taking part of COP22 as a civil society partner. We will have a booth in the Green Zone and will be presenting our award-winning fog-harvesting project at a sponsored side event on November 7.
As part of our lead-up to Marrakech, Dar Si Hmad will be running a social media campaign focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are a UN-led call to action for countries, corporations, groups, and individuals. The goals focus on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and creating peace and prosperity for everyone.
The goals are:
- No Poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere
- Zero Hunger - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Good Health and Well-Being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Gender Equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- Clean Water and Sanitation - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Affordable and Clean Energy - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- Decent Work and Economic Growth - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Reduced Inequalities - Reduce income inequality within and among countries
- Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
- Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting develoments in renewable energy
- Life Below Water - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
- Life on Land - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Partnerships for the Goals - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The UNFCCC acknolwedges that certain areas are more vulnerable to climate change. This includes arid or semi-arid zones and developing countries with fragile mountainous ecosystems. Aït Baamrane, where Dar Si Hmad works, is one such place, subject to extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, desertification, and other negative environmental impacts. We are proud to be hosting COP22 in a country that knows the risks and problems of climate change, and we are proud to be actively working to ensure that our most vulnerable populations - rural communities, indigenous peoples, women, and children - do not face the costs of climate change alone. As we journey to Marrakech for COP22, we invite you to join us. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals, COP22, and our work to combat climate change in Morocco and around the world.