2010 Resident Scholar Jamila Bargach, Harvesting Fog and Teaching Tech
Jamila Bargach has spent the majority of her adult life working to improve the lives of women in her home country of Morocco. SAR is proud to have been a nine-month home for Bargach while she explored how a simple technology—a petroleum-based mesh strategically placed in the landscape to gather drinkable water from passing fog—could be used to help and empower girls and women in the region. In 2010, as a recipient of SAR’s Campbell Fellowship for Women Scholar-Practitioners from Developing Nations, Bargach was able to further develop research for her project: Harvesting the Clouds: Fog Collection Technology and Gender Equality in a Berber Village, Morocco.
In her SAR Resident Scholar bio, Bargach explains:
The traditional distribution of social roles within these Berber villages decrees that women and girls fetch water and tend to animals’ needs. Fetching water alone requires between three and five hours per day. This represents a tremendous amount of lost opportunity for women and girls, who could use that time for education, training, or other more productive work. There is the ability through this technology to make it easier for them, so why not do it?
As one of the founders of Dar Si Hmad, a nonprofit dedicated to improving lives in communities across the southwest region of Morocco through education and other sustainable initiatives, Bargach continues to cultivate new opportunities for women. In a piece just published by Public Radio International contributor Rebecca Rosman highlights one of Dar Si Hmad’s newest efforts: educating young women through a ten-day technology camp. Based on conversations with Bargach, Rosman explains the importance of providing education and accessibility for women in southern Morocco:
“Running a program like this is a big deal for the girls, who come from the poor outskirts of Agadir, a sleepy Moroccan city facing the Atlantic Ocean. Opportunities like this are rare for girls in Morocco, especially those from low-income backgrounds.” She continues, “In Morocco, 40 percent of women are illiterate and often lack the skills needed to escape poverty. Women also make up less than 30 percent of the country’s labor force, and those who are employed mostly work unskilled jobs.” – (read more)
For more information about the fog initiative, technology camp, and other projects of Dar Si Hmad visit their website.
And to learn more about SAR’s Scholar Programs, visit sarweb.org/scholars/resident.