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.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy Human Rights Day!

Happy Human Rights Day! Dar Si Hmad has joined the #16DaysofActivism Campaign against Gender-Based Violence. The sixteen days end today, 10 December, on the 67th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nations marks the anniversary each year. This year, special attention is being paid to the four freedoms:

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year's Human Rights Day is devoted to the launch of a year-long campaign for the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966.
The two Covenants, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, form the International Bill of Human Rights, setting out the civil, political, cultural, economic, and social rights that are the birth right of all human beings.
"Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." aims to promote and raise awareness of the two Covenants on their 50th anniversary. The year-long campaign revolves around the theme of rights and freedoms -- freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear -- which underpin the International Bill of Human Rights are as relevant today as they were when the Covenants were adopted 50 years ago. For more this year's theme and the year-long campaign, see the website of the UN Human Rights office.
To connect the issues of violence against women, education, and empowerment we've been focusing on for the past two weeks, visiting researcher Becca Farnum wrote a piece for her university blog

Dar Si Hmad receives a shout-out in the piece in a special section on "Leveraging the environment": 
The environment has regularly been used as a tool of violence. Such violence disproportionately harms women and children. Approached creatively, though, the natural environment can be a partner against violence. This has been recognized through increasing attention to environmental rights and by various educational initiatives around the world.
Environmental education can challenge gender norms and promote equitable development. Dar Si Hmad, whose fog harvesting project was highlighted in a recent article for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, leverages their environmental knowledge against the violence of educational inequality.
Dar Si Hmad’s Water School encourages Berber girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Local ecosystems are used to engage children in transformational learning. Older girls taking their high school exams are supported by the E-Learning program. WASH (water for sanitation and hygiene) workshops provide educational opportunities for village women. Capacity-building trainings focused on environmental and economic opportunities challenge traditional gender norms while promoting sustainability and recognizing local realities.
To read more about the links between environmental sustainability, education, gender equity, and human rights, read Becca's full piece online

This post is part of Dar Si Hmad’s 2015 #16Days Campaign to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

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