Dar El Hanane, or Compassion House in Arabic, is a not-for-profit health promotion initiative based in Marrakech, Morocco. Our dream is to open a charitable urgent care center to serve the poor with excellence and dignity. From 2016-2018 we provided classes and support groups to promote a healthier community in partnership with local players. Our project was birthed out of the Gateway Medical Alliance network and is now ready to launch towards independence. We chose the name Dar El Hanane because in all we do we want to be a place where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and compassion.
Marrakech is a magical city, full of culture and imagination. It is also a city of extremes. Visitors can experience tranquil green gardens and beautiful old mosques then challenge their senses with the noise and exotic smells of Jemaa el Fna, the largest and busiest market square in Africa. Labyrinths of traditional souks (markets) where you must bargain for everything are found close to spacious, modern shopping malls. Marrakech also has extremes of climate from the extreme desert heat of the summer to the cool snowfalls on the nearby Atlas Mountains in the winter. And like Morocco, Marrakech is a rich blend of Berber, Arab, African, European and Middle Eastern cultures.
And there are extremes of demographics. The city has benefited from a growth in tourism and is rapidly expanding but there are many who continue to live in conditions of poverty. Tens of thousands of rural Moroccans have moved to the cities and now struggle with high unemployment rates (35.1% in 2011) and expensive housing. And there are numerous health needs, with local hospitals and emergency departments overwhelmed at times as they struggle to treat patients with the limited resources available to them.
Why is Dar El Hanane needed?
Despite growing efforts from the medical community in Morocco to improve access to medical care across the country, the public system often remains stretched to breaking point. We believe that the best long-term way to relieve pressure on the whole health care system is to actively pursue healthier communities through community health education and health promotion as well as work towards opening a charitable urgent care center. As the old adage goes “Prevention is better than the cure!” We have the expertise and capacity to deliver a number of different health education courses to a wide range of groups in the community from women’s health to the elderly, and from members of our local community to medical students and health professionals working in the hospitals. In addition, we are broadening our relationships with local associations-partners and groups that have a heart to serve the local community in this field, and we hope that we can provide them with the facilities and support needed to deliver quality health promotion materials.
What programs do you run?
From 2016-2018 we have partnered with local groups to deliver health care courses and teach health education materials. These include: -Basic Life Support classes for all laypersons – anyone in the community including mothers in the homes, local sports clubs and groups etc. -Community Health Education Course – a series of 20 interactive lessons that focus on making the home a healthier environment for the family. -Women’s health support groups – including ante-natal classes and breast feeding support groups. -Alzheimer’s support groups – providing Alzheimer’s sufferers AND their families with education on their illness and support in management. -Medical education – in partnership with the CHU, we have offered medical and nursing students and post-graduate doctors and nurses in specialty training world-class lectures in English ‘virtually’ from expert professors around the world. As our relationships with local partners grow, we hope that this list will expand as we enable many groups to engage with the community in promoting healthier lifestyles, healthier families and a healthier community.
Who is responsible for Dar El Hanane?
Dar El Hanane was launched in partnership with Gateway Medical Alliance (GMA), a US-registered charity which develops strategic partnerships to serve as a catalyst to improve the lives of the poor and disadvantaged by sharing healthcare resources worldwide. As of June 2018 Dar el Hanane is ready to become an independent and locally registered initiative! We will forever be thankful for the partnership with Gateway Medical Alliance and expect to continue working alongside their efforts in multiple ways. We are also sponsored by Association Grand Atlas (AGA), a Moroccan association led by Professor Knidiri. Their slogan sums up their goals: use everything possible to create, innovate and raise awareness of the past, present and future of Marrakech and its surrounding area. This project would not exist without the support of GMA, AGA and others.
Where did the name Dar El Hanane come from?
Dar El Hanane could be translated either “Compassion House” or “House of Compassion“. We want to provide high quality medical education and medical treatment, but just as importantly, we also aim to serve and treat all our partners, clients and patients with dignity, mutual respect and compassion.