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, January 12, 2015

Our Reflections on a Fruitful Year

As 2014 is coming to a close and the Southwest is recovering from the massive destruction wrought by torrential rain, it is time for a new evaluation of the “water-situation” in the region. During and after the flooding, lives were lost, houses and schools destroyed, livestock drowned, and all of us were awed by the mighty force of the water – all the more because we have grown accustomed to overall water scarcity in the region.
Following the floods, and thanks to emergency funds from Derhem Holding, Dar Si Hmad contributed to the initial relief efforts by repairing roads and providing emergency food and first-aid to affected communities. These dramatic events have demonstrated anew that, whether in lack or in excess, the region’s relationship to water constitutes a dynamic and problematic issue that needs to be constantly revisited.
Here is a brief summary of what Dar Si Hmad has done this past year: Importantly, we have consolidated the efforts of our groundbreaking fog-catchment project. We completed the construction of all the fog nets, the piping, the reservoirs of the fog-project and founded the first “fog observatory” in the world. This miraculous fog is now yielding sufficient water to fill cisterns, and after the official inauguration scheduled for International Water Day on March 21st, 2015, all the water needs of the locals will be met.
Education, like water, continues to be at the center of our efforts. All our programs are founded and designed with the essential component of learning at their heart. 2014 has been particularly productive and has shown how the power of education can be a significant and meaningful magnet and rallying point for youth and community growth. For our two pilot educational programs, a Water School with rural children and ELearning with the first generation of young women attending high school and living in state-sponsored dorms, the impact has been substantial and far-reaching. We are now expanding the scope of these two projects, combined under an educational caravan, or School on Wheels, which brings even more educational opportunities to rural areas and to girls and young women, in particular.  
This year, Dar Si Hmad has also established monthly programs at our Agadir Annex. University students and recent graduates, varying in ages and from all types of backgrounds, have joined us in several educational activities and events such as professional development workshops, thematic seminars, a speaker series, poetry readings, film screenings and student exchanges. We are overjoyed to witness that our commitment to and belief in education is generating a resounding response in Agadir.
Dar Si Hmad has also expanded its partnerships this year. We now collaborate with researchers and students via exchange programs at Moroccan American Commission for Education and Cultural Exchange (MACECE) in Rabat, and have pledged our commitment to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) challenge of doubling the number of students studying abroad in the next five years. We have strengthened our engagements with our “fog-partners,” notably the Wasserstiftung and the Technical University of Munich, and our funders both nationally and internationally, such as the Derhem Holding, la Promotion Nationale, L’Agence du Bassin Souss-Massa-Drâa, and USAID. These partnerships are in addition to our ongoing collaboration with the Delegation of Education in Sidi Ifni and the Delegation of the Entraide Nationale in Agadir.
We close 2014 with strong, tangible results and are planning for the year to come with enthusiasm and growing expectations. We thank all our partners, supporters and beneficiaries who have always believed in our mission and who have given us opportunities to work and be of service.

Dr. Jamila Bargach
Director of Dar Si Hmad

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