The Tagantassou primary school in the Tillaberi region of Niger is a typical small village school: a few cement classrooms with scrappy furniture, many grass mat classes built by the community with children sitting on the floor in some cases, and few educational materials. In part with your support, the RAIN drip-irrigation School Market Garden has provided vital nutritious vegetables for the students while acting as a sustainable source of revenue for school supplies. This year, the garden will increase in value as the site of a pilot program, wherein it is transformed into a living classroom providing hands-on learning experience for children. Using textbooks provided by RAIN, a 4-month curriculum of study has been created, focusing on environmental science, agriculture, nutrition and health. The curriculum combines classroom learning with agricultural activities, including weekly data collection in the garden. Through participation in the harvesting and sale of crops, students will learn important mathematics and logistical lessons in small business accounting and organization in addition to new techniques in irrigation, cultivation and organic pest control. The winter season is ideal to garden in Niger, and the drip irrigation system is close to being fully installed, ready for the new plantings. Seedlings will be ready for transplant in less than two weeks, at which time the students will begin their specialized studies. We are very enthusiastic about this project and the prospect of adopting this hands-on model in all our School Market Gardens in the coming year. The drip irrigated school market garden with cash crop sustainability enhanced by the agricultural curriculum exemplifies RAIN’s integrated approach to long lasting change for rural communities in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Every donation counts, and we are grateful for your partnership and caring for nomadic families in Niger who receive little or no assistance from any other source.
On Wednesday October 17th, GlobalGiving will match all donations to RAIN by 30%, providing an exciting opportunity to make an even bigger impact for food security in Niger!
Let's make the most of this chance - share with your friends and family and on your social networks, tell them why you support RAIN, and how they can acheive the good of two contributions with one - then donate as early as you can on the 17th - the matching will at $50,000. Every donation counts, even just $10 - together, we can make this Bonus Day a great success.
2012 has seen alternate droughts, flooding and locust invasions for agriculture in Niger, and RAIN’s gardens have been no exception. Though we continued to install several new gardens in the Agadez and Tillaberi regions with your support, we are also focusing on repair and rehabilitation where needed. The following is an update of the status of some of our School Market and Cooperative gardens.
Lemdou and Tagantassou
This growing season, School Market Gardens generated food for 311 students in the community of Lemdou, and 128 in Tagantassou. Supplemented with eggs from poultry, the peanuts, melon, pumpkin, manioc, corn, okra and moringa provided by both gardens are an important nutritional addition to the staple millet. In Lemdou, tomatoes were affected by flooding but have recovered.
99 nomadic women in Mari have formed an agricultural co-op, sharing a 5,000 sq. foot plot with great success, learning from the newly created curriculum addressing modern agricultural techniques (drip irrigation), bio gardening to prevent soil destruction, nutritional and healthy food cooking, and hygiene. Mari is now experiencing flooding, and when the water recedes later this fall, the well installation will resume, providing the first step in drip irrigation installation. Also planned is the building of a small protective wall to protect from future flooding.
Bonfeba, Tagantassou, Soulifiet and Tchintouloust
Gardens are successfully producing crops, including tomato, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber and melon.
Due to flooding, Tangushman is currently inaccessible. When waters recede, RAIN staff in Niger will visit the community to evaluate garden damage, if any.
RAIN staff in Niger are closely following all gardens to better educate committees on management and techniques to best maximize crop output. The new garden curriculum, in the final stages of development, will be an integral part of all RAIN agricultural projects in the future.
As the school year begins and families return, we will have more updates on the progress of existing and new RAIN gardens. In this time of so much need, the bounty of a garden in the desert is a testament to your caring support. Thank you!
Your contribution to School Market Gardens will have a lasting impact for nomadic families in Niger facing food insecurity.
Now, if you share this project with your friends and family, and they donate on June 13th, they will have nearly twice the impact.
Your support of sustainable agriculture for rural nomadic communities in Niger brings elusive food security in times of crisis. Every donation counts, and we are grateful for your partnership and caring for this under served population not receiving aid from any other source.
On Wednesday June 13th, GlobalGiving will match all donations to RAIN by 40%, providing an exciting opportunity to make an even bigger impact for food security in Niger. Please share with your friends and family and on your social networks and tell them why they should support RAIN.
We look forward to updating you with stories from the field!
I’m just back from Niger. I’m sure many of you have seen in the news that it’s a time of drought and hunger there. It’s difficult to be in Niger's countryside and see the parched earth, the desperation and hunger in people’s faces. The situation is worsened by refuges arriving from Mali and other neighboring countries that are experiencing war or fragile political situations. Despite the hardships they are suffering the people of Niger are proud that their country remains a peaceful, united one.
In this season when the land looks like endless sand and dust, it is almost miraculous to come upon a green RAIN school market garden. I visited the hamlet of Mari in Tillabery two weeks ago. The school’s garden was flourishing, bursting with vegetables for the children to eat. The gardener reported that about 40% of the produce is eaten by the children while 60% is sold to buy food staples such as grain and pay the garden’s expenses. A truly sustainable, long-term program for improving children’s health and nutrition, while helping their school.
At RAIN we believe in creating an integrated set of programs for developing livelihoods and supporting schools. In Mari we have a mentor program and are currently building a garden and teaching the 99 women of the Mari garden cooperative about nutrition and organic gardening techniques.
I met with the Mari school director. He told me that since 2009, when RAIN began its programs in Mari, school enrollment has shot up from 65 to 233 students. Bravo Mari! Bravo to all of you supporting RAIN!
Much gratitude and best regards to all, Bess Palmisciano
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