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, August 4, 2020

A taste of the 3rd edition of the Summer Tech Camp

Khadija Amahal in Sidi Ifni
          I strongly believe in the importance of quality education in raising responsible future generations who will continue making change in their environment and promoting positive values. Girls’ education is one of the topics that interest me, and one of the fields I truly enjoy working on. I have many reasons for liking this field; I myself had to find my own path to access a good quality education. Therefore contributing to building a good environment for girls to learn and grow is something that warms my heart. I was very happy to receive an invitation from Dar Si Hmad’s office manager to be a member of the organizing committee of the third edition of the girls’ summer tech camp. This programme is a 10 days long camp where girls from middle school are exposed to information and skills about the field of technology. Themes of the summer camp include: ICT, critical thinking, digital literacy, DIY, photography, videography and many others. One of the things I truly love about this activity is the fact that it is learner cantered. I have a background academic training in teaching, therefore, I know how important it is for the student to have a sense of independence in class and to be involved in the learning making rather than being a passive participant that is spoon fed without having room for thinking, analysing and evaluating their acquired knowledge.

          The first meeting for preparation took place on Tuesday, July 21st, at DSH office. That was one of the very few times when I was not stressed about meeting a group with whom I will be working in the future. I usually get stressed about making a positive impression, creating a bound with the team and not being interpreted wrongly for something I say. I already had the opportunity to meet some of the association’s staff and I enjoyed their company to the extent that I felt at home. Meeting Madame Jamila was one of the highlights of the day. In the Moroccan context, it is likely to be nervous in the presence of an executive director, but that was not the case with this great minded lady. She made sure to welcome me in person and tell us goodbye before she left. These details matter, because in order to give your best at work, studies, and relationships, an intrinsic motivation is valuable, and one way to be intrinsically motivated is to be treated with respect and appreciation for your efforts. With the leadership of Salwa ‘DSH’s communication officer’; Hanane ‘one of the camp’s facilitators’ and I had a detailed idea of the camp, its previous editions and the tasks we are expected to deliver. The conversation was smooth and very comprehensive. By the end of the meeting, we agreed on the future steps to implement in order to be well prepared for the camp and make sure that girls live a great experience they can recall in years, just like the girls and I still remember the great experience of being RISE participants “a program implemented by DSH that aims to provide the participants with the 21 century skills using non formal education tools’.

          Preparing for the camp from home was an alternative we agreed on to assure social distancing especially during the days prior to Eid celebration that witness crowded means of transportation and streets, as a precaution measure. I honestly enjoyed working with my fellow facilitators; we divided the tasks and each one took charge of her preferred sections. We had access to a rich data base of information on previous editions of the camp which really facilitated the task for me. I will give you a brief overview of the section I took charge of; some of it is focused on critical thinking which is highly important in an era where girls are exposed to unlimited loads of information which is not always true. I focused on providing means to build this capacity and tools to practice it as often as possible. My talented friend Hanane worked on designing a session on photography and videography which are great tools for storytelling and building an artistic sense through which girls can see the world from different perspectives. Salwa on the other hand has helped us a lot by providing support in its different forms, clarifying all aspects of the camp based on her previous experience and assuring everything is clear and in order.

          I am really excited to meet the participants and contribute as much as I can in implementing the activities of the camp in the best possible ways. I am also eager to closely work with talented, open minded and supportive community whom I had the immense pleasure to get to know earlier this month. Make sure you keep an eye on the blog; more details about the camp are coming soon.

Written by: Khadija Amahal, STC assistant

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