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.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dar Si Hmad: A Source of Inspiration

I have never felt more alive than I do now. I feel that I'm a fully functioning member in society. I participate in lots of workshops, attend numerous seminars, conferences, and activities. I'm an active member in several clubs and associations. A great deal of this is thanks to the Moroccan NGO Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture and others. I met many active community members and was introduced to some amazing people who widened my horizon and opened up new doors for me.

I still remember the first time I set foot in Dar Si Hmad; it was September 17th for a discussion in celebration of International Literacy Day. Ever since that day, I have attended each and every activity that the association organizes, including the professional development workshop series which is conducted by an American Peace Corps volunteer, Em Nidiffer, which aims at improving the professional skills of students and recent graduates. 

Participating in these workshops was such an amazing experience. I have learned lots of tips about CV and  cover letter writing, but the thing that I admired the most is the workshop which was dedicated to career discovery. When I was younger, about six years ago, whenever I was asked about what I wanted to be in the future, my immediate answer would be “a teacher.” However, as time went by my perspective has changed, and this workshop helped me more than I ever thought it would.

On the right, Zaina Dali, attending the screening of
Hakim Belabbes' Film Ssi Bourhim: Imam et Poète. 

During this workshop,  Em had us do a career survey in which we went through several fields and learned about the careers that would best fit our personalities and capabilities. At this point, lots of things were brought to my attention: I recalled that in primary, middle and high school, I won most of the class president elections; in fact, I had just become class president in some TEFL workshops that took place in my university. 

Moreover, every time a professor wanted to assign a student to take responsibility for something in the class or lead a group in a presentation, he would choose me or I would volunteer for it. When Em divided us into groups in the workshop and asked us who wanted to be the leader of their group, my hand arose immediately without having second thoughts about it, and so I was the leader of our group.

I have come to realize that leadership is what I'm most passionate about, and according to members of our group in the workshop, I did a pretty good job at it.  To tell the truth, the more workshops I attended at Dar Si Hmad, the more I discovered new interesting things, particularly about myself. I have gained so much knowledge from them, and for that I would love to thank Em Nidiffer for being such an amazing and brilliant mentor, and special thanks to Dar Si Hmad for always being so helpful and for organizing so many beneficial events.

Zaina Dali

Sophomore, the English Department, Ibn Zohr University, Agadir

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