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, February 26, 2018

Preparing for RISE Spring Semester!

By DSH Intern and UNC Global Gap Year Fellow Georgia Morgan:

A new semester of RISE is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited
here at Dar Si Hmad! Previous semesters of RISE focused on employability and
professional skills, but this new semester will provide young Moroccans with a space
to openly talk about traditionally taboo topics, enhance their public speaking and
debate skills, and have a space to creatively express their ideas. The new semester
will begin 28 February and 1 March and will be led by Fulbright interns Alex Kochenburger
and Natalie Sullivan, in addition to Moroccan interns Hafida Mazoud and Ayman Taleb,
American intern Georgia Morgan, and Dar Si Hmad Staff Maisie Breit and Soufian Aaraīchi.

This semester of RISE will focus on discussing social and global issues and how they
play out in Moroccan society today. Discussion topics will include identity, freedom of choice,
migration, gender, the environment, and a student-chosen topic. The goal of this program is
to provide a safe and welcoming space for the students to engage in difficult discussions
on these topics, and to learn from one another's ideas and opinions.

Students will begin each session with a writing prompt and can expand on one of these
topics as a part of a personal final project. Final projects can be a song, performance,
dance, poem, painting, speech, story extended creative writing piece, or something a
student devises. RISE participants will also practice their public speaking skills in the
form of a personal speech and a group debate on a specific social issue.

Our applicants demonstrated passion, specific goals, and innovative ideas last week in
their interviews, and we were impressed by their enthusiasm to be a part of the RISE
program. It was exciting and inspiring to see motivated and aware young adults who
are eager to bring their energy to this group. This past week, the Dar Si Hmad team
has been working to arrange the program’s schedule and lesson plans for the upcoming
orientation. We are eager to begin the new semester of RISE and to see where the
students take each session.
Some of the RISE Team hard at work planning for the upcoming semsester!