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, May 1, 2018

Unsung Hero #9: Hafida!

Interview With Hafida Zoud

Hafida is a local intern here at Dar Si Hmad who is heavily involved
in the new semester of RISE this year. She plays a very important role
as a young Moroccan and RISE alumni herself in the curriculum
design and facilitation of the RISE sessions.

What is your name and how old are you?
My name is Hafida Mazoud and I am 22 years old.

Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Agadir. My parents are from a small village
in the Haha tribes near Imintanout.

Are you currently in school/ studying and if so where?
In 2015 I received my bachelors degree in Food Technology from
FST (Faculty of Science and Technology) of Beni Mellal.
In 2017, I got my masters in Food Safety and Quality Management
at Fst Mohammedia.

Describe your role at DSH/ how you became involved with DSH.
I originally heard about Dar Si Hmad from one of my friends who was
an EYA (Environmental Youth Ambassador) and RISE alumni. She was
always talking about Dar Si Hmad, so I began following them on social
media and became very interested in the organization. This past fall, I finally
got to participate in the RISE program that focused on professional skills
and development. I loved it so much and knew I wanted to continue to be
involved with Dar Si Hmad. At the end of January and beginning of February
this year, I joined an EFS program to Sidi Ifni as a speaking partner where
we got to see the famous fog harvesting project, which was amazing! I am
currently a RISE session assistant for this new semester. I help plan and
design the lessons and facilitate the sessions. My position is important
because I help provide a Moroccan perspective while designing this new
curriculum with the other RISE assistants, who are American. This way we
have both Moroccan and American perspectives incorporated into these
global social issues that we’re discussing in RISE. The goal of my position
is also to help the RISErs feel more comfortable and open to sharing if they
feel more hesitant to do so.  

What is your favorite part about coming to DSH?
My favorite part about coming into Dar Si Hmad is the discussions
we have in the RISE planning sessions as well as the actual sessions
with the participants. I love being with you guys and exchanging our
opinions and perspectives. I’ve learned a lot from all of the other interns
and staff here at Dar Si Hmad, both Moroccan and American. I’ve improved
my professional skills and learned how to manage professionalism
and fun in the same environment.

What is one thing you’d like everyone to know about DSH?
There are a lot of organizations here that are simply for show, but I want
everyone to know that Dar Si Hmad is a very legitimate NGO that is
passionate about real issues in our community and is making a significant
impact. The Dar Si Hmad team and projects are professional, versatile,
competent and concrete.

What is one of your most memorable moments at DSH thus far?
The EFS program to Sidi Ifni this past January/ February has been my
most memorable experience with Dar Si Hmad so far. I had heard about
Dar Si Hmad’s famous fog project for a really long time, but I never truly
understood how it worked or the impact it had on the surrounding community
until this trip. I loved getting to meet the exchange students that came with
us and to hear about all of their experiences in Morocco, passions and ideas.
It was also really great to see how interested and dedicated they were to
learning Arabic. When I came back from this trip, I couldn’t stop talking
about this project and telling people about it.

What are you hoping to achieve during your time here?
I hope to improve my English speaking, develop my teaching and practice
my public speaking skills during my time as a RISE session assistant.
I would also like to become more open, make new connections and network
with people that I can collaborate with in the future.

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