Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco

by Dar Si Hmad
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Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco
Water School - Environmental Education in Morocco

Images speak, at times, louder than words.  Please see how the young pupils in our Water School are curious about science, technology and math.  This video introduces also our team, the one creating the magic and making the teaching, the interest and the committment possible. Each and every child of the 120 children have had an amazing time durin this year's edition and we are sollicited by everyone within the community, older and younger, to come back and open up world of wonders to these children.  Thank you all for having made this possible, your donations have supported and 'watered' the root of curiosity and enchantment. We all thank you with gratitude. 

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It is difficult to imagine how remote and marginal the community participating in the Water School is. 450 miles south of the Moroccan capital, in a predominantly Berber-speaking and illiterate region with limited economic opporitunities, many from the area have begun to migrate to urban centers in search of work and modern provisions like running water, electricity, and quality education. Now, following the introduction of potable water in village homes through Dar Si Hmad's fog harvesting project, however, beneficiary communities have begun to thrive again. The Water School teaches young people from the area the science to understand and care for the natural world around them, building resilient communities for years to come. 

These transformations are hard to do justice to in words, so Dar Si Hmad has recently initiated the "Streaming the Water School" web video series! Each 2 minute video introduces a different aspect of this powerful project.

The first episode of "Streaming the Water School" leads viewers on a tour through the majestic rural landscape of Southwest Morocco: from 25 miles southeast of the small former Spanish port town of Sidi Ifni, along the windling dirt roads skirting the foothills of the High Atlas mountains, to where the Water School takes place in a one room classroom filled with passionate, brilliant young learners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLO0rB8PCoY

The second episode of "Streaming the Water School" takes you on a journey into the classrooms of the Water School. This short video introduces some of the powerful women and girls involved in the project: from adored science teacher Fatiha to the ambitious and brilliant student Latifa, who was awarded last months "Water Hero" award for her active participation and leadership.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBkk-D71VU

Stay tuned for the next episode of "Streaming the Water School" next week on Dar Si Hmad's YouTube channel. Episode 3 will take viewers behind the scenes of preparations for the Water School and introduce the stellar team that makes it all possible.

We appreciate the GlobalGiving community's continued support! Today, Dar Si Hmad is coordinating the tenth Water School session of 2016, and we are delighted to share the successes of these sessions with you!

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As we continue to plan and develop the logistics and curriculum for the Water School this year, we'd like to use this report to introduce the people that give this program life -- the ones who create the sparkle in the lives of these children, the ones who deliver the magic and fill these under-served and landlocked schools with such promising and beautiful energy.  

Dar Si Hmad's Water School Staff, Researchers, Volunteers and Community Members:

Marouane Smaili  is Dar Si Hamd's Office Manager, and he successfully ran the Water School last summer. He was recently awarded the prestigious Fulbright grant to pursue his Master's studies in NGO Management in the United States, and he continues to be a powerful role model for Water School students. This year, he is in charge of logistics and liaising with local teachers and school administration.

Rebecca Farnum is a PhD candidate in King's College London. During a research affiliation with Dar Si Hmad, she fell completely in love with the concept of the Water School, and has since taken the lead on updating and revitalizing the Water School curriculum for 2016. Within the coming months, she hopes to have an open source draft of the Water School curriculum online to share with other organizations working on environmental education. In May, she will return to Morocco to lead the last module of the program on Aquatic Ecosystems. 

Arielle Moss is an American Fulbright grantee who teaches at Ibn Zohr University (ENCG) in Agadir, Morocco and volunteers with Dar Si Hmad part-time. With her Bachelor's degree in biology from Indiana University and experience in the education sector, she has been instrumental in developing curriculum and locating resources to enliven the Water School.

Abderahmane Ennassiri is Dar Si Hmad's official driver, and the one who ensures that every Water School student arrives safety. He's also the go-to fix-it guy, making sure that the Water School environment is always safe and secure for students and teachers. Beyond these vital roles, he also loves to learn and play, and he adds great energy to Water School songs, games, and activities.

Muhammad Sfoureg is a member of the local community where the Water School takes place, a beekpeer, and a local volunteer for Dar Si Hmad. Only one image comes to mind when we at Dar Si Hmad speak about him: no boundary exists between him and his bees; Muhammad goes into a trance when describing, relating stories and life-cycles of the bees and the children love him.  They love the passion he has for the bees, the intimate connection he has towards his environment, and how he brings all of this to life for them.

Hadda Bouzgar is our much beloved cook. Beyond the staples of bread, vegetables, and tagine, Hadda has introduced Water School students to a wide range of delicious foods, challenging their palates with new tastes and textures. She is a favorite of the children from the last two years, and this year she will be daring them anew with yet new culinary opportunities to leave the familiar. 

 

Our program will run for 7 weeks from February through May this year:

Week 1 will cover the States of Matter and the Water Cycle

Week 2 will cover Animal Biology

Week 3 will cover Plant Biology

Week 4 will cover Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Week 5 will cover Pollution, Clean Conservation, and Recycling

Week 6 will cover Edible Vegetation and Community Gardening

Week 7 will cover Aquatic Ecosystems

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Playing at sea, a 1st for landlocked mountain kids
Playing at sea, a 1st for landlocked mountain kids

Dar Si Hmad has run a very successful summer program with rurally-based children in the Ait Baamrane region. Children ranging between 7-14 have discovered new subjects and topics relating to water, to the science of water and to having fun with water.  They have also participated in a variety of enriching activities, within their school and outside.  Our dedicated team of volunteers and educators created learning and fun opportunities for the children and opened up new horizons for them.  Parents joined us in the closing ceremony, and have been all along directly involved in this project by encouraging and supporting their children to be pro-active participants. 

Because of the success of this second edition (2015), all the stakeholders from the community, school administrators and ourselves, have taken the decision to extend the program from a 3 week period at the closing of the academic year, to a longer one covering an entire semester. We are at this very moment, revising the curriculum, adding new and challenging games, and preparing for a fun and informative new semester. The impact of the work we started doing with the children in 2014 is showing its positive results:  more pupils are joining junior high (including girls), and more families are letting their children continue schooling past the elementary level located further from their villages and requiring the childrent to take residence in dorms. 

The children themselves are happier and always welcoming to the Dar Si Hmad team when we come to tend to the Fog Collection project in this site. This outpouring of care and eagerness from the children, their hopeful questions of when they can participate in the next water school is the clearest of statements that this project has delivered on its promise and needs to continue its work, in changing lives and having a most positive outcome. 

Watching 3D film was  pure joy and a new discovery
Watching 3D film was pure joy and a new discovery
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Having Fun
Having Fun

After a successful first water school camp in 2014, Dar Si Hmad organized the second water school camp this year from June 8th through June 17th 2015. We added one more rural school to the one we serviced the previous year. We conducted hands-on workshops, fun-and-learn activities and all of the 86 children aged 6 to 13 participated very eagerly. 2015 we have a 85% increase in participating children and a much larger impact.

 

On June 8, we launched the first workshop of the water school in rural southwest Morocco (Agni N'Zekri village) in a joyful and instructive setting, we met children in the village school, who radiated nothing but sheer excitement and happiness.

 

This year, with the help of Colorado University intern Rebecca Daniels, we designed inclusive curricula addressing key themes such as microorganisms and states of the matter. All of which were supported by interactive experiments, games and audiovisual material.   

 

Our future ambition for the mobile educational caravan is only increasing in depth and breath, as we envision a broader scope of beneficiaries and richer curriculum content.

 

We thank our donors deeply for their unwavering support and for trusting Dar Si Hmad in fulfilling its mission.

All Ready!!
All Ready!!
The Dar Si Hmad Team with the pupils
The Dar Si Hmad Team with the pupils
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Organization Information

Dar Si Hmad

Location: Agadir, Souss-Massa-Draa - Morocco
Website:
Project Leader:
Jamila Bargach
Agadir, Souss-Massa-Draa Morocco

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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