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.

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Capacity Building Program Beneficiaries: Atlas NGO for Development and Social Cooperation

This past December 2019, Dar Si Hmad organized a get-together for all the participating NGOs of the Capacity Building program, launched in October 2018, and that Dar Si Hmad ran for 10 months.

Although the meeting focused on the achievements of the organizations since the end of the training, and also future possible collaborations amongst the NGOs, we also wanted to give the organizations the opportunity to present their work to Dar Si Hmad’s followers.

Boujemaa Ben Haya, a member of Atlas NGO for Development and Social Cooperation.

The answers below are the responses from Boujemaa Ben Haya, a member of Atlas NGO for Development and Social Cooperation.

 When was your NGO founded and what is your main area of activity?

Our NGO was founded in 2000. And it has since then been working on development. We work to make multiple cultural, educational and sports projects successful.

How did you learn about Dar Si Hmad Capacity Building Program for NGOs? And why did you apply for it?

We learned about it through social media and we immediately applied for it because we desperately wanted to grow and empower our organization. We also knew that this program would be an ideal opportunity to talk about our experiences with the other participating NGOs.

How did your organization benefit from this training?

The training sessions taught us important skills and techniques that we have applied to our organization’s management, they have been impactful. And once again, having the chance to meet all these committed people from different NGOs and exchange with them also benefited us enormously.

What are your NGO’s new year’s resolutions for 2020?

Since its founding, the organization has worked on important development projects. And as part of its annual program for 2020, big goals were set in development, social, and educational fields. The first one is our road paving project and our project of providing drinking water to the communities we serve. We also are planning educational and recreational programs to benefit school students.

Do you see any future possible collaborations working with Dar Si Hmad on a project?

Considering that Dar Si Hmad is a pioneer in terms of creating partnerships with global non-governmental organizations, we hope that we will have the opportunity to partner with them too to gain support for our organization's projects.

Atlas NGO for Development and Social Cooperation is one of our beneficiaries that showed dedication and improved the services they offer in their region. We are so proud to learn that our Capacity Building program helped them empower their organization even more.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dar Si Hmad highlights of February 2020

As Dar Si Hmad spent last January laying the foundation for many exciting projects for this year, February was marked by the bustling movement in and out of the office.

Below are some of the highlights of February 2020:

On February the 3rd, three professors from Quinnipiac university joined Dar Si Hmad as part of our Ethnographic Field School. Their visit was filled with informative stops. From exploring the staggering Cité de l’innovation and understanding the agriculture and water issue relation at the APEFEL, to feasting on organic food that has grown in a permaculture farm that surged in the middle of Guelmim desert, to finally hiking to our fog harvesting site and witnessing water production from fog.

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Right after their departure, our executive director and EFS manager moved to Marrakech in order to meet with a group of students from Lewis & Clark college and guide them around CIPA, the crossroad of agro-ecological initiatives and practices, in the suburbs of the city. These students are presently with us, to fulfill a part of their study-abroad program.
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The next highlight of last February was the visit of three young explorers to our office. With an aim of promoting scientific research in the field of sustainable development, they had Dar Si Hmad fog project documented, before heading to Domaine Nzaha for permaculture near Guelmim, that also worked its magic on them.
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The following visit to our office was of a group of students from the SIT, School for International Training in Rabat. Their Stop in Dar Si Hmad gave them the opportunity to hear about the harvesting fog project and also to meet our Ethnographic Field School manager, Ms.Perry Demarche, who is an alum of the same Journalism and New Media SIT program.
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The following day, the 21st of February, Ms.Khadija Benhami, the head of the partnerships and cooperations department in the Provincial Delegation of Education in Agadir, came in the company of a teacher and the principles of two schools that are prominent for the environmental education they give. Many common issues were tackled during the meeting we had, and a more active cooperation was programmed for the future.
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The last week of the month was however the busiest. On Tuesday the 25th, we had Mr.Adam Bouhadma, the CEO of the educational platform 9rayti.com, hosted in Ibn Maja high school, an institution with which we coordinate to activate both our Rise program for this term and their environmental club. During his visit, Mr.Bouhadma answered some students’ inquiries on studying to achieve their personal and professional goals. This session was particularly interesting for the IT enthusiasts.

Two days later, a former intern in Dar Si Hmad, and one of the Environmental Youth Ambassadors, came back to the organization, this time as a member of 3W Academy to lead a programming workshop that benefited more than 25 students. On the same day, we had members from the social club of the National School of Commerce and Management collect some food DSH donated for the humanitarian caravan those students were organizing. We were so happy to see them grateful for our act.
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Friday after, we had our first session of Ljamae Azgzaw, our new monthly event that aims at raising people’s awareness on environmental issues especially in Agadir. In its first appearance, we had the staff of Surfrider Foundation Maroc animate a workshop on climate change and the relation between the ocean and the climate. This session has exceptionally stirred the tensions of the attendees who all felt concerned about the climate crisis.
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Besides these high points that made of February 2020 a special month in DSH, our steady big projects still are continuously running to fulfill the number 1 aim of the organization.