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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

RISE Closing Ceremony

By DSH Intern Katie Huge
The RISE program came to a bittersweet conclusion last Saturday morning. We were sad to let our
wonderful students go, but we are very proud of how far they have come and how engaged they
have been throughout the past few weeks. Amidst the chaos and stress of final exam time, the
RISErs remained committed to the program and consistently showed up, bringing focus and enthusiasm
to class. They were eager to accept their certificates of completion as they assembled in
the Dar Si Hmad classroom for the last time.

To begin the ceremony, Jamila Bargach, the director of Dar Si Hmad, spoke to the students expressing
her pride in their accomplishments and her hope that they continue working to develop their potential
and improve their communities. Then we heard from the RISE trainers Alex, Natalie, and
Nourredine, and from Program Coordinator Soufian Aaraichi. Following the speeches, the
RISErs had their own work to share. Three students - Hasna Lachhab, Brahim Ichou, and
Yassin Fouad - presented the websites they had been working hard on during web design class.
The student with the most impressive website will have their website hosted by Dar Si Hmad for one year.

Trainer Natalie helping out a participant

After the presentations, we had a little surprise for the RISErs. During the program students
had to dance in front of the class when they were late. In order to make things a bit more fair,
trainers Natalie, Alex, Maisie, and Katie embarrassed themselves by giving
the RISErs a small gift to remember their experience at Dar Si Hmad.

Working hard at the last Thurs session

They rewrote a popular Spice Girls song to be about the RISE program and performed it for the group.
The students were all very entertained and it was a fun way to begin the ceremony.

Saying Goodbye at the last Tues Session
The students were then invited into the kitchen to chat with their peers while snacking on tea
and cookies before going back for a final activity. When they returned, Maisie assembled them
into a large circle, and with one ball of yarn, everyone in the classroom formed a web in which each
and every student was connected to two other people. Each person wrapped the yarn around
their wrist to make a bracelet before throwing the ball of yarn to someone they appreciated or shared
a good memory with. While our office cat, Dandara, played and jumped around in a heaven of yarn,
the web slowly started to form and grow wider in every direction. As the game came to a close,
the students passed a pair of scissors around in a circle to cut themselves away from the web.
They keptthe yarn on their wrists and tied them into bracelets to remember that, although
the RISE program had come to an end, everyone was still connected and the memories
of past few weeks would live on.

Trainer Alex helping out a student at the last Thurs session

With that the ceremony finally came to an end. We reminded the students to remain in touch
with us and to stay alert for future events, programs, or opportunities that may be open to them.
They will always remain a part of the Dar Si Hmad family and we couldn’t have been
happier and prouder to lead them.