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.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

RISE Citizen Journalism 2019: Session 6, 7 and 8 Run Down

Written by Ms. Hafida Mazoud
Group picture with Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Cassandra
We cannot believe how quickly time flies! It is already Week 8, and we have one more extra session. The upcoming meeting with our all of our RISERs will be at the Closing Ceremony. Before jumping on how this session went, let us first give you a brief recap.
The fifth session that was conducted back on May 19th was about photojournalism. We invited a Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Cassandra Broadwing, to facilitate this session. The objective of this session was to enable the RISERs to identify the components of a compelling image to articulate the ethics of photojournalism and to pitch their own ideas for a photo essay to promote social change and social justice in Agadir.  
Ms. Cassandra started the session by projecting the photo of an Afghan girl taken by Steve McCurry. She asked our participants if they recognized the picture first and what they could describe by taking a closer look. After she then told them about her story and projected a short video documenting the rest of the story about this girl and how 17 years later the National Geographic team found the girl and took the second picture of her.
The Egg Activity
Between the two pictures, that girl had faced and experienced many things, and her unrequested fame didn’t help her but instead made her life even harder. This led our facilitator to start a discussion about whether what the photographer leaves out of the image is just as important as what he or she captures. She also addressed the strengths of using photography to tell stories as well as its weaknesses.
This session was an opportunity for the participants to learn about the elements of photography, what makes a photo compelling and how a photo can make you feel something. Ms. Cassandra asked one of the participants to help her do an activity where the participants shined a light on an egg with a drawn face in order to use light to portray an evil face, a sad face, or a happy, angelic face just by changing the light angles.
Photojournalism is photography, but the reverse is not necessarily true. To illustrate the differences between these two concepts, they talked about photojournalism and ethics, empathy, media bias, and how it is a journalist's duty to remain emotionally aware and empathetic.
Before closing this session, we gave a handout to our participants that helped them brainstorm the idea they want to tackle in their photo essay assignment and explained the tools and the data they need in order to research the idea.
RISERs taking shots of their partners
Video Journalism was the theme of the following session. The session was led by Ms. Katie Tyler and our intern Ms. Imane Arjdal who helped our RISERs define what is videojournalism and its different forms. Later, they were introduced to the different phases of videojournalism from pre-production, production, and post-production.
Practicing videojournalism as an amateur or a professional was also brought up during the discussion. This led to explaining what digital and visual storytelling is, its ABCs and how you can exercise these principles through video production. We also covered how video editing can help to refine the final product to achieve a smooth, unbroken flow of the narrative.
In regard to the narrative, we talked about narration and the use of a strong narrative voice. As an example, we played a video of Morgan Freeman and studied how the use of his voice gives a different perspective for the story.
We are not contradicting with what we said above, but we always love to challenge our RISERs’ creativity, and we asked them to produce a video with a journalistic approach about any topic they want without spoken words. They could use subtitles, infographics or background music to help deliver their story. 
Game time during the session
Now we arrived to the eighth week which was the last taught session of the RISE Citizen Journalism Program 2019. This session was about environmental journalism, and its goal was to show that the environment is not a faraway issue that only affect glaciers, but it contains crises that touch us every day, and this is why having a journalistic coverage is a must!
We then distributed two different printed articles and asked the participants to compare the different writing styles, such as whether the style was descriptive, narrative, or both. One of the articles we chose for them was about how climate change is creating a rise of child brides. They were blown away by the connection and realized that if they analyze many environmental issues, they would find a direct consequence of that issue in their lives or the lives of others around them. We concluded this session by watching a video that discusses the differences between facts and opinion as well as and what is truth.
The participants requested many times to conduct a session where they can learn about how to study abroad and find scholarships. Our RISE team could not be happier to answer their request and provide them with the opportunity to discuss and learn more about this topic for one more extra informative session organized during the first week of Ramadan. 
Group photo with Ms. Tasnim

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

RISE Citizen Journalism 2019: Recap of the 2nd, 3rd and the 4th Sessions!

Written by Ms. Mazoud and Ms.Arjdal
RISE Citizen Journalism 2019 and RISE team are committed to giving our participants all the proper training to become young citizen journalists and we are also committed to keeping you updated on how our programs are going on.
During our second RISE session, led by Ms. Tasnim Elboute, she introduced our participants to the structure of good storytelling and how to enhance the way of storytelling in journalism. We started the session with an icebreaker to go past the barriers between our participants and to enable them to be more open during the discussions. We watched then a video of a stand-up comedy in English to show the aspect of good storytelling not just in written pieces, but also in oral ones. Later, our RISERs had to brainstorm and find the key differences and similarities between the two forms of storytelling.
We learned more about what are the elements that make a story “make-sense” and what the elements of a story are. The participants were introduced to different story structures they can follow and Ms. Tasnim gave them an example of a Juha story and how Freytag’s Pyramid exhibited in it.
Our participants were previously asked to read different Investigative Journalism pieces and during the session, they discussed their thoughts, reactions to the stories. They also identified the elements of the story they thought were compelling and they ended the discussion by citing the elements they think compose a good investigative article.
Each session we give our participants an assignment to enhance their writing skills and motivate them to be creative. Our assignment for this session was to write a short story on any topic they like. We gave them some ideas for the story, such that it can include any personal experiences about school, gender, education, the environment, etc.  
The following week, the session was dedicated to learning about writing Mechanics and The Opinion-Editorial (OpEd, for short). Ms. Katie Tyler started the session by asking when is opinion relevant in media. Following this, she taught them about the uses of pathos, ethos, and logos also known as the Aristoteles “mode for persuasion.”  As an exercise, our participants were asked to highlight where the author in each of the articles uses these tactics.
We later explained to the participants the importance of articulating their motives and how to use them during writing. This session was full of interactive activities and group work like when the RISERs had to read an op-ed and identify the motivating moves that the author used. At the end they learned how to refine an argument and work on a thesis and that a thesis does more than just point out something they can observe, instead, it creates an argument that builds from one point to the next.
In the fourth session, we moved out from the written form of journalism and we decided to give a glance to the world of audio journalism. we started first our session by discussing the differences and similarities between podcasting and broadcasting.
As known one of the most important things that any podcaster should know and master the art of conducting an interview, and that why we decided to teach first our RISERs about the fundamental techniques to become a good interviewer. Also, they were introduced to active listening methods that will make the interviewee more engaged during an interview. To practice what they have learned, we organized a short activity where our RISERs formed groups of three. Each RISER picked a piece of paper out of a hat and enact a scenario the RISE team created for them with a partner. Each person in the group rotated between taking on the roles of the listener, the speaker, and the observer.
Summing up the session, Ms. Katie shared the tools our participants might need for getting a better sound and also showed them how to use a free audio editing software. We are looking forward to the next sessions and please stay tuned on our social media to get updates and know more about the RISE Citizen Journalism 2019 sessions and stories.