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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Unsung Heroes Interview #8: Fatiha!

Interview with Fatiha Tachakourt


Fatiha Tachakourt is a part- time employee at Dar Si Hmad,
the Water/ Oasis School teacher in Sidi Ifni, and a language teacher at the office.

What is your name and how old are you?
My name is Fatiha Tachakourt and I am 26 years old.

Where are you from?
I am from Agadir, Morocco. My family is from Agadir as well,
so I’ve lived here my whole life.

Where did you graduate from and with what degree?
I attended Ibon Zohr University where I studied to get my Masters Degree
in Journalism and Media Diversity.

What brought you to Dar Si Hmad?
I’ve been with Dar Si Hmad for 3 years now. I actually got the job
working here through a friend of mine who knows the office manager.
She told me that Dar Si Hmad was looking for a woman who spoke
English and had the patience to work with small children. At the time,
I was looking for a social work position, and children and education
are two passions of mine so this opportunity seemed perfect. My friend
sent in my CV, I got an interview and soon after I became a part of the
Dar Si Hmad team.

Describe your role at Dar Si Hmad
My main role at Dar Si Hmad is to teach at the Water/ Oasis School
for children in the villages near Sidi Ifni. I’ve taught two editions of the
Water School and the first edition of the Oasis School. I also provide
language lessons in Darija and Tashlheet for Dar Si Hmad interns,
EFS students and other students in Agadir wanting to learn Tashlheet.
Originally, I came to work at Dar Si Hmad just for the Water School,
but I began teaching these lessons as well because of my education and language skills.

What is your favorite part about coming to Dar Si Hmad?
My favorite part about teaching with the Water/ Oasis School
is definitely the kids. They are a form of therapy for me. I have a special
connection with all of them that motivates me to continue searching and
giving them my best with the rest of the Oasis School team. I feel like they
are my own children; I call them my kids. Before every session, I think about
the theme/ goal of the lesson and how I can best transmit that message to
these eager and wonderful children.

My favorite part about coming into the office is the team; they feel like family
to me. Everyone is so friendly and I can be myself with everyone. People
are always smiling and greeting you as you come in the door of Dar Si Hmad.
And Dandara of course; I don’t really have a good relationship with cats,
but she is fun and brings a new persona to the office.

What is one thing you’d like everyone to know about Dar Si Hmad?
I would like everyone to know that Dar Si Hmad offers an opportunity
to learn many things that you’ve never learned before in school and gain
insight into things you were never previously aware of. It’s a place where
you can share and build on your skills with a truly wonderful team.

What is one of your most memorable moments at Dar Si Hmad?
There are always memorable moments with the Water School, but
one time, we planted a tree near the school and the children decided to
name it Fatiha. Even though the tree died, it was still very special to me.
The kids were blaming each other as to why the tree died, and it turned into
a good laugh.
Everytime a Water or Oasis School session ends and we have to say goodbye,
there are always lots of tears and hugs from both the students and the team.
It’s very meaningful and emotional. Those moments always leave an impression on me.