Darna means "our house."
For the population of street children and women in need that the organization serves, those words have
a special resonance. In the houses of Darna, children and women at risk
find a safe and stable temporary home, and opportunity to reintagrate into the mainstream of Morocccan society, through stable learning and
living environments, skills training programs, and career-building
The organization also has a broader agenda of social change in Tangier,
and seeks to empower the people we serve by explaining to them their
rights and civic obligations, in the hope of creating independent and
self-directed members of society.
The houses of Darna are real places, open and busy every day of year,
as well as symbols of a space where a sense of collaboration and sharing
The association's professional staff is made up of social
workers, therapists, and educators, supported by volunteers, and run in
a democratic and egalitarian process.
Darna depends on private funding, the sale of good produced in out facilities, and foundation and government
grants for its survival, and delivers its services
with an extremely efficient cost-per-client ratio, and very low overhead.
The demand for our services grows every year, as the root problems continue and word of our
activities spreads through our communities. We are continually seeking to expand out services, our
facilities, in response.
Fortunately, every year sees the departure of children and women we are ready to
reintegrate into society, leaving space for others.
Darna was founded in June 1995, after careful reflection about how to respond
to the growing number of children in the streets of Tangier. An active dialogue
with the children helped define the direction of the project. Darna's founders undertook the
training of social workers and technicians, and, one facility at a time, have built a network of
community-based social service facilities across the city.
1995 DARNA was founded in Tangier.
December 1999 A
bilingual newspaper, "News of the Young," was created, for the young by the young.
2000 A very important stage was the actual rehabilitation of a
building (the YOUTH COMMUNITY HOUSE)) which was done with the participation
of the children themselves, for their training center and school.
October 2000 Darna is recognized officially as Moroccan public service.
July 2001 The construction of a dormitory (THE SHELTER) that can
house up to 50 children when necessary, begins.
June 2002 The opening
of a large COMMUNITY HOUSE FOR WOMEN in another renovated building,
where they can be informed of many civic and social services that are
available to them as well as literacy courses and professional training.
2003-2004 The opening of a FARM SCHOOL on the edge of town.
January 2004 The opening of a COMMUNITY SHOP AND RESTAURANT where items produced by Darna,
the Women Houses, and the Farm
can be sold.