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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Unsung Heroes Interview 2: Alex Kochenburger


Alex Kochenburger is a Fulbright intern at Dar Si Hmad from the United States.




What is your name and how old are you?
My name is Alex Kochenburger and I am 22 years old.
Where are you from?
I am from Storrs, Connecticut.
How long have you been in/ lived in Agadir?
I have been living in Agadir for over five months, but I’ve also lived in Rabat and
Meknes in the past.

Where did you graduate from and with what degree?
I graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts with a
Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and Arabic.

What brought you to Agadir/ Dar Si Hmad?
I am in Agadir on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant. I teach English
courses at the Ecole Nationale de Commerce et Gestion (ENCG) and volunteer
at Dar Si Hmad in my free time.

Describe your role at Dar Si Hmad.
At Dar Si Hmad, I am a Rise session instructor. Along with another Fulbrighter
named Natalie Sullivan, I am responsible for designing and teaching the curriculum
for Dar Si Hmad's Rise program. Whereas last semester's Rise program focused
on teaching Agadiri students employability and professional development skills,
this semester's Rise program hopes to provide a space for Agadiri students to
discuss contemporary issues that are relevant to their lives.

What is your favorite part about coming to DSH?
My favorite part about coming in to Dar Si Hmad is having the opportunity to work
with the wonderful students of the Rise program. Throughout my experience as a
Rise instructor, I have been unfailingly impressed by the students' work ethics,
senses of humor and dedication to learning.  

What is one thing you’d like everyone to know about DSH?
I would want everyone to know that Dar Si Hmad is full of innovative and
energetic employees that are always looking for new ways to implement diverse
projects in southern Morocco. Aside from Dar Si Hmad's flagship fog harvesting
plant, the organization also runs an Oasis School, an Ethnographic Field School,
a center for language and research and the Rise program.


What is one of your most memorable moments at DSH?

One of my most memorable moments with Dar Si Hmad was last semester's
Rise closing ceremony. Not only did we Rise instructors take the opportunity
to embarrass ourselves, but it was also very fulfilling to celebrate the end of a
great program with our students.