Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN) forges partnerships with nomadic and rural desert peoples of West Africa to realize their ambitions for education and enduring livelihoods with a focus on empowering girls and women with learning and earning.
Aug 26, 2014

RAIN Artisans Learn New Products!

Illia working on handbags with artisans.
Illia working on handbags with artisans.

The 16 Tuareg women who make up the Albaye leather cooperative in Agadez have recently teamed up with other women artisans in Ingall who primarily work in straw. This collaboration has led to beautiful leather & straw tote bags, a product not possible for these two groups on their own. 

The collaboration continues with new products this summer with some help from a true master artisan - Illiah Addoh, Director of Artisans at the National Museum in Niamey. Organized by Albaye co-op president Oumma Amma, Three artisans from the Ingall straw cooperative joined the 16 members of Albaye to learn ways to improve their craft and make new items. 

We're proud to share two new products from this learning collaboration - straw woven platters and leather handbags.
We are truly excited by the high quality of these items as well as their stunning beauty - the traditional Tuareg patterns taking on a new modern look in completely different ways. 

The tote bags, hand bags and platters will be available for sale on our online nomadic marketplace in the very near future - check back to get yours! 

A very warm "thank you" to our supporters from RAIN staff and our artisan partners as they develop their skills and expand their livelihoods.

Albaye co-op President Oumma
Albaye co-op President Oumma
Straw & Leather Tote
Straw & Leather Tote
Straw Platters
Straw Platters
Albaye Draw String Purse
Albaye Draw String Purse

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Nassile & Tirboye Schools Get Gardens!

Nassile
Nassile

Since expanding to the southern Tillaberi region of Niger in 2009, RAIN has gained many motivated community partners in creating sustainable food security solutions for the nomadic and semi-nomadic people who call this region their home. As in all rural areas of the country, recovery is still in process from the recent droughts that decimated crops and herds.
We're happy to share news of hope and renewal from the communities of Nassile and Tirboye as they embark on garden and well projects with your support behind them every step of the way.

Nassile Elementary School - Drip Irrigated School Market Garden and Well Installation

The Nassile School serves several surrounding area hamlets, which means most students walk long distances to get to school. Their new 1,000 square meter drip irrigated garden will ensure that a variety of healthy food is provided for them.

Water Issues
Before the updated well installation, women would pull water for their families from a traditional masa-masa well. Besides the poor water quality, the low output left the women waiting for trickles of water until midnight. Many families skipped dinner simply due to a lack of water.

Families now enjoy the benefits of the School Garden well, including greater output and highter quality water. The well fills to the rim during the dry season, and provides fresh water 6-7 months of the year as the water table slowly descends.

Once the well, water tank, and fence work was finished, mentors, local school gardeners, and school staff members were trained to install drip irrigation systems. As the school year ends and the rainy season approaches, students help to plant mango, guava, and papaya saplings for long term sustainability. To date, the garden has produced a successful harvest of over 150kg of cucumbers and about 30 melons at the end of the hot season. Adults and children alike had never seen or heard of a cucumber before cultivating them. Hot season gardening is new to these communities. The possibility of a hot season harvest was demonstrated by the successful harvest of these pilot crops - resulting in greater food security for all.

Tirboye School Garden with Drip Irrigation

Installed near the Gorou Bi, a seasonal river and major tributary of the Niger River, Tirboye's garden is experimenting with papaya trees in addition to mango and guava. The local soil is hard clay, and after an unsuccessful season, we realized that the addition of fertilization with compost is necessary. Though most residents moved out to huts in their fields at the start of the rainy season, RAIN mentors, several students, Tchindo the gardener, and other volunteers joined forces to plant fruit trees and begin to prepare for a rainy season crop of okra, beans, and sesame. Tchindo planted mango trees in the school yard, using thorn fencing as protection from animals. Fruit is not only an important nutritional addition for the students -  it also has the best potential as cash crops.

Year round planting, larger and more diverse crops, and fresh water, when added to the hard work and dedication of our partner communities, brings bounty in the arid Sahel and keeps children healthy and in school. None of it is possible without your support - thank you!

P.S. GlobalGiving will match each donation to School Market Gardens 40% starting 9am EST on July 16th. Giving on this day will mean nearly twice the benefit to families in Niger!  Please share this amazing opportunity with your friends and family.

Nassile student with bottle of dirty water
Nassile student with bottle of dirty water
Boys play in the well mold
Boys play in the well mold
Pulling water from a masa masa well
Pulling water from a masa masa well
Nassile students enjoy the harvest
Nassile students enjoy the harvest
Learning about drip irrigation
Learning about drip irrigation
Nassile girls pose with tree seedling
Nassile girls pose with tree seedling
Boys with melons
Boys with melons
Gardner Tchindo plants mango trees
Gardner Tchindo plants mango trees
Tirboye mentors help plant the garden
Tirboye mentors help plant the garden
Students of Tirboye also are studying for exams
Students of Tirboye also are studying for exams

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

New Mentoring Programs in Nassile and Tirboye

Tirboye school sign
Tirboye school sign

Since expanding to the southern Tillaberi region of Niger in 2009, RAIN has gained many motivated community partners to take part in the widely popular mentoring program. We're happy to share that the communities of Nassile and Tirboye, with your help, are embarking on this journey of education and new opportunity for girls and women alike.

The initial community meetings, recruitment process and training has taken place - the stage is set for the joyful task of empowering girls to succeed.

Nassile's Mentoring Program

The Nassile School serves several surrounding area hamlets, each of which is represented by a mentor. This arrangement serves to unite the greater community around our important education initiative. As in all RAIN mentoring programs, mentors are teaching their students valuable practical skills, including the craft of straw and stalk weaving that is a tradition in the region.

Mentors
Salamatou Bilan    
Zeinabou Djibo        
Mariama Yaya        
Beldo Bodo            
Fatimata Boukari
                                         
Tirboye's Mentoring Program
The women mentors of Tirboye have been helping their students with the hoeing and planting in their new School Market Garden so they may also dedicate enough time to studying for the CM2 exam that ends the primary school cycle.

Mentors
Fosse Talata            
Dafarini Tchoga        
Lamouri Kondjoua        
Ramata Mahamane        
Larba Kampalamba

We look forward to updating you in the very near future as these two mentoring programs bloom to give at-risk girls a leg up in school and in life. None of it is possible without your support - thank you!

P.S. GlobalGiving will match each donation to the Mentoring Program 40% starting 9am EST today! Giving today will mean nearly twice the benefit to at-risk girls in Niger....please share this amazing opportunity with your friends and family.


Tirboye mentors help plant the school garden
Tirboye mentors help plant the school garden
Mentor President Salamatou in a craft workshop
Mentor President Salamatou in a craft workshop
Students of Tirboye studying for exams
Students of Tirboye studying for exams
Tirboye Mentor Ramata Mahamane
Tirboye Mentor Ramata Mahamane
Nassile Mentor Zeinabou Djibo
Nassile Mentor Zeinabou Djibo
Tirboye Mentor Lamouri Kondjoua
Tirboye Mentor Lamouri Kondjoua

Links:

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