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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Coming soon! The 2016 Water School

Meeting the Eclectic Team Behind Dar Si Hmad's 2016 Edition of Water School 

By Jamila Bargach - Dar Si Hmad Executive Director 

As we continue to plan and develop the logistics and curriculum for the Water School this year, we'd like to use this report to introduce the people that give this program life -- the ones who create the sparkle in the lives of these children, the ones who deliver the magic and fill these under-served and landlocked schools with such promising and beautiful energy.  
Dar Si Hmad's Water School Staff, Researchers, Volunteers and Community Members:

  • Marouane Smaili  is Dar Si Hamd's Office Manager, and he successfully ran the Water School last summer. He was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright grant to pursue his Master's studies in NGO Management in the United States, and he continues to be a powerful role model for Water School students. This year, he is in charge of logistics and liaising with local teachers and school administration.
  • Rebecca Farnum is a PhD candidate in King's College London. During a research affiliation with Dar Si Hmad, she fell completely in love with the concept of the Water School, and has since taken the lead on updating and revitalizing the Water School curriculum for 2016. Within the coming months, she hopes to have an open source draft of the Water School curriculum online to share with other organizations working on environmental education. In May, she will return to Morocco to lead the last module of the program on Aquatic Ecosystems. 
  • Arielle Moss is an American Fulbright grantee who teaches at Ibn Zohr University (ENCG) in Agadir, Morocco and volunteers with Dar Si Hmad part-time. With her Bachelor's degree in biology from Indiana University and experience in the education sector, she has been instrumental in developing curriculum and locating resources to enliven the Water School.
  • Abderahmane Ennassiri is Dar Si Hmad's official driver, and the one who ensures that every Water School student arrives safety. He's also the go-to fix-it guy, making sure that the Water School environment is always safe and secure for students and teachers. Beyond these vital roles, he also loves to learn and play, and he adds great energy to Water School songs, games, and activities.
  • Muhammad Sfoureg is a member of the local community where the Water School takes place, a beekpeer, and a local volunteer for Dar Si Hmad. Only one image comes to mind when we at Dar Si Hmad speak about him: no boundary exists between him and his bees; Muhammad goes into a trance when describing, relating stories and life-cycles of the bees and the children love him.  They love the passion he has for the bees, the intimate connection he has towards his environment, and how he brings all of this to life for them.
  • Hadda Bouzgar is our much beloved cook. Beyond the staples of bread, vegetables, and tagine, Hadda has introduced Water School students to a wide range of delicious foods, challenging their palates with new tastes and textures. She is a favorite of the children from the last two years, and this year she will be daring them anew with yet new culinary opportunities to leave the familiar. 

Our program will run for 7 weeks from February through May this year:
  • Week 1 will cover the States of Matter and the Water Cycle
  • Week 2 will cover Animal Biology
  • Week 3 will cover Plant Biology
  • Week 4 will cover Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
  • Week 5 will cover Pollution, Clean Conservation, and Recycling
  • Week 6 will cover Edible Vegetation and Community Gardening
  • Week 7 will cover Aquatic Ecosystems

Learn more about Dar Si Hmad's Water School and how you can support environmental education, youth empowerment, and girls in STEM here: http://darsihmad.org/water-school/

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