Earth Day has a special meaning for us at Dar Si Hmad. So much of our programming is centrally focused on sustainability and requires a healthy environment. Our flagship fog-harvesting project is possible thanks only to the ecological conditions that roll dense fog into the Aït Baamrane Mountains. The Water School, a direct spin-off from the fog-harvesting system, revolves around environmental learning. Partner universities from around the world visit our Ethnographic Field School because of the uniqueness of our fog system. And everything else - from our vocational training programs in urban Agadir to our participation in international conferences - is possible thanks only to the planet that sustains human life.
A few weeks ago, the students of the Water School created a community garden at their school. With the help of their infectiously enthusiastic teacher, Fatiha, Water School students found their 'green thumbs' and planted trees as a part of their lesson on the environment. They rolled up their sleeves and were not afraid to get their hands a little muddy to create a green space for all of their community to enjoy. During the following week, the Water School student built up on their original community garden idea by beautifying the space to make it more appealing for garden goers. As a part of a lesson on recycling and sustainability, students painted old tires which would be used to adorn the base of trees planted in the previous week. Through the physical act of planting trees in a garden and then making that garden colorful and beautiful through artistic tires, these young students were able to develop a connection with their surroundings and the Earth. From a young age, they are actively creating environmentally sustainable places that engage the community and the planet. Their work has created homes for plants and animals as well as a beautiful space for the neighborhood.
Exactly a month ago on March 22nd, the international community celebrated World Water Day. That day and today, we celebrate the success of our fog-harvesting project. The innovative technology was recently featured in New Yorker magazine.
|Dar Si Hmad's Director Jamila Bargach speaks at the |
Inauguration of our Fog-Harvesting Project. We recently
celebrated the one-year anniversary of providing potable
water to homes in Southwest Morocco!
Dar Si Hmad's Ethnographic Field School program hosts visiting international researchers and student groups to discover the culture, history and environment of Morocco. Visitors from around the world travel to Southwest Morocco to see for themselves the incredibly biodiversity and natural beauty of the region. Studying and working alongside local communities, Ethnographic Field School participants learn how sustainable livelihoods and environmentally led empowerment are central to holistic development.
An EFS participant from Georgetown University’s Center
for Contemporary Arab Studies samples some
of the cold freshwater streaming from the
High Altas Mountains at Paradise Valley.
The trees in Paradise Valley and those planted by our young students in the Water School Community Garden are a critical part of our planet's health...and our own. "Trees for the Earth" are also trees for us. Dar Si Hmad is currently exploring a new forest in Southwest Morocco, fed by fogwater. Wherever in the world you are, we encourage you to plant a tree today and support reforestation efforts. When it comes to the environment, we are all equally responsible - and equally at risk. We all have a stake in working to preserve our planet for human and non-human life, for ourselves and generations to come. In a time when we are increasingly reminded of finite resources being used by seemingly infinite greed, we must be more conscious consumers of the environment and mindful about the way in which we interact with our natural surroundings. On this International Mother Earth Day, we encourage our readers to take a moment today - and every day - to do something good for our planet. Whatever you do, big or small, can make a difference. From Southwest Morocco, a very happy International Mother Earth Day to everyone.