loader image

Discover Joudour Sahara

Learn About Joudour Sahara’s dynamic programming and unparalleled initiatives. Click on a section for quick navigation

Founded in 2016, Joudour Sahara began activities in the centre of M’hamid El Ghizlane in southeastern Morocco. We now engage 90 students and more than 100 musicians across the Southern Draa Valley region

Modern music activities typically reach youth from M’hamid and from Tagounite, while traditional music activities include more than 70 youth from more than eight villages. There are no such activities offered elsewhere in southeastern Morocco, and due to the extraordinary efforts of our team, we are able to realize positive change in M’hamid El Ghizlane and beyond

The Music School

Witness the real impact music has on local youth, musicians, and entire communities

 

Positive Change through Music

Established in partnership with Playing For Change Foundation, Joudour Sahara offers weekly classes in guitar, percussion, vocals, ensemble performance, and the traditional styles of Ahidous, Gnawa, Rokba, Akalal, and Chamra

Scroll down to see how positive change is realized through music across diverse groups of community members from the region

 

Meet our Student Naji

Joudour Sahara student and M’hamid El Ghizlane youth Naji has been attending the music school for a couple years now, learning how to play guitar, bass guitar, and traditional percussion 

Watch his beautiful performance of a traditional Saharan folk song and learn how he has developed during his time at Joudour Sahara

Play Video

Connecting Cultures through the Blues

Learn how Joudour Sahara has used modern blues music to build bridges across cultures through a residency with Grammy – nominated American musician Vasti Jackson. Project completed in partnership with the U.S.Embassy in Morocco, Playing For Change Foundation, and Visa For Music African and Middle Eastern Showcase

Play Video
Play Video

Traditional Music Transmission

Watch our efforts to establish a weekly curriculum to pass down ancestral music heritages between generations

Support from the U.S. Embassy in Morocco and the International Society of Music Education allowed us to establish this programming, sustained today with support from Playing For Change Foundation

The Environment

With partners Sahara Roots Foundation and Aziza Chaouni Projects, Joudour Sahara is becoming a national leader in the fight against desertification at the grassroots level

Water Management

The most vital of resources, water has become among the most scarce resources available in the Southern Draa Valley. Unsustainable use of wells, water-inefficient crops like watermelon, and rapid soil salinization locally aggregate to form what can only be characterized as a water crisis

For 10 years now, Sahara Roots Foundation has incorporated the Groasis Waterboxx water management system, a planting tool that maximizes water and has proven to increase the survival rate of trees and plants from 20% to more than 80%. We have planted hundreds locally in just the last few years 

Constructing Solutions

Aziza Chaouni Projects has designed inspired facility solutions to lead a regional fight against climate change while also promoting the practice and preservation of music 

Depicted here are the renderings for a multi-purpose water reservoir, combining vernacular techniques, innovative architecture, and efficient use of space in the above ground chamber, a cool space to gather and create during the hot summer season   

Construction of the water reservoir is currently underway

Revitalizing the Oasis

On our pilot farm, we have designed and have been testing a permaculture-based wadi system to reëstablish the three tiers needed for a thriving oasis: ground vegetation; fruit trees; canopy level palm trees. Drought and poor water management have devastated the bottom two tiers over the last several decades

With this devastation, agriculture is no longer the economic driver it was, leading to a massive rural-to-urban migration. This migration is taking local and traditional knowledge out of the region and leading to the disappearance of traditional music and culture

Advocate for the Environment

Support our efforts in the fight against climate change

Community Development

Find out how Joudour Sahara’s positive change extends beyond music

 

Gender Development

Joudour Sahara has become a leader in M’hamid El Ghizlane in providing access for girls to participate in social and cultural activities, thanks in large part to the addition of Aicha Zahaf and Safae Radouani to the Joudour Sahara team

We have worked with dozens of women and girls over the last couple of years through music and dance activities, with girls’ participation numbers increasing annually

COVID-19 Support

Throughout COVID-19, with economic outlook in the region already bleak, many families have struggled to provide for themselves. With support from PFCF, Joudour Sahara provide food grants to multiple families in need throughout the region, reaching almost 100 individuals

Additionally, we disbursed health and sanitation supplies, as well as increasing our staff to provide more economic opportunity through music

 

Widening Opportunities

During Playing For Change Day 2021, Joudour Sahara co-founders Thomas Duncan and Aziza Chaouni worked with local youth across several disciplines, including:

Workshops among 25 youth on sustainable architecture, construction phases, and local needs; 

Workshops for female students between 8 – 12 years old on videography, photography, and sound recording;

Thank You Roland!

Watch a short video detailing Roland’s impact on Joudour Sahara

Play Video
peace | tolerance | social cohesion | through music