Women mentors who counsel girls and help them to succeed in school are a vital part of RAIN’s education programs. The women encourage girls, teach them about health and hygiene, and advocate for them with their families and teachers.
This program has been so successful that we seek to introduce it in schools across Niger. During this 2009—2010 school year we’ve brought mentoring to ten new schools.
There are many schools in Niger, and it takes twelve years for a child to complete high school —- this program over the coming years would grow prohibitively expensive.
Gardens produce a product; it’s easy to see that they could sustain themselves and produce profits for schools. But how do education programs become sustainable?
When posed with this question, our mentors responded that with RAIN’s help, they would run businesses. The profits would provide them with payment for their mentoring services, as well as pay for the materials they use in traditional skills classes.
This year, RAIN began our pilot program in mentor husbandry. The mentors of Arlit will keep a herd of sheep to support their mentoring program. RAIN is providing a starter herd and bringing in a veterinarian to teach the women about animal nutrition and health.
By teaching new agricultural skills along with improved techniques to preserve a threatened herding livelihood, RAIN is bringing long term food security to thousands, while incorporating another direct means of support for the mentors and the girls in our Mentoring Program.
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