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.

Friday, April 21, 2017

RISE Field Day

By Sophie Nachman

This weekend we decided to shake things up at RISE by hosting a Field Day at the beach. Students started the morning as usual, with English Conversation Hours and an interesting presentation about photography and media. After some time to work, we walked together to a pizza lunch and then headed off to the beach for team building and communication games.

First, we played a game that encouraged people to learn each other’s names by requiring them to remember the names as quickly as possible. In the next game students identified their commonalities in a game similar to musical chairs. To encourage the students to break out of their project groups and work with new people, they were required to find a new group, blindfolded, by making only animal sounds. Next, we moved on to a fun relay race where the students had to race to fill a bucket with water by passing a wet sponge over their heads. We made sure to dedicate time for the students to just hang out. People listened to music, danced, sang, played tennis, volleyball, and swam. Over all we enjoyed our time together.

After enjoying free time, we dove right in to some more communication exercises. In one challenge, the students were blindfolded and required to communicate verbally with each other to arrange themselves along a rope in the shape of a square. The students found this challenging but it reminded them of the importance of communication in group work and made them aware of their tendencies as leaders or followers. The last couple activities aimed to build trust and appreciation between the students. The students made a bridge with their arms, and one by one a student would run through, trusting that their peers would move their arms out of the way in time. Then they took turns walking through the tunnel of their peers greeting and thanking each one.

The students seemed to enjoy this chance to hang out in an informal setting, and they had some wonderful feedback to share.

"This day made us get to know every one else outside our groups. It gave us the opportunity to see the true aspect of everyone. We also had a day off from the project and all the stress we struggle with daily . There were lots of amazing games that made the day super fun, and brought us closer to each other."


"It was a very good initiative, organized for RISE participants to bond and get to know each other better. Personally, I learned lots of things that day especially in terms of strengthening my relationships with the other participants."

"At first we didn't know each other, we were depending on our groups and not paying attention to other groups. The blind animal sounds and the blind shape forming activities were the best because it doesn't matter who is in your team, what matters is what you have in common and what  you are trying to achieve. I learned that day that leadership is not just in one team member, but leadership is when other members consider each other's opinions! In short, Field Day was awesome."

Check out this video of Field Day below:

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