Sep 23, 2021

Students Continue to Persevere

9th grade students in class
9th grade students in class

“There are seven kids in my family; I’m the youngest and the only one who goes to school.” 

  • Takan Mohamed, 9th Grade Student 

Takan is one of the students in RAIN’s mentor program who has overcome hardships and worked diligently to pursue an education.  The mentor program helps children in Niger complete their schooling to create opportunities for financial security later in life.  This includes motivating students to continue going to school even when they have limited access to education. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has put even more stress on these students over the past two years.  Though Covid was less disruptive to the academic year this year than last, schools still closed for just over 3 weeks as school buildings were used as sites for community food distribution. As a result, like last year, many schools across the country did not complete their curriculum and many students will be forced, yet again, to repeat a year of school. This cycle is extremely disruptive – each time a student needs to repeat a year, it reduces the likelihood that he or she will continue and complete his or her education. Fortunately, the Agadez Learning Center (ALC) and our mentoring program are structured to help reduce dropout rates and maximize the likelihood that our students complete their curriculum. 

Preliminary data for the 2020-2021 school year retention rates suggests that 3.6% of students at partner middle schools dropped out (which is significantly lower than regional averages) and among mentored students, that rate dropped to 0.7%. And among the subsection of girls at the ALC and in RAIN homestays, it was 0%. 

Further, we saw that RAIN students had greater academic success than their peers. In early July, students across the country sat for the end-of-middle-school (9th grade) BEPC exam. Students at our ALC had a pass rate 50% higher than the local average. Lower classmen, though they did not sit national exams, also had positive outcomes. 

The feats that the ALC has accomplished this year could not have been achieved without your generous support.  This exciting expansion project will double the number of students that the ALC will be able to house, therefore doubling the impact where help is needed most. 

 

RAIN is continuing to raise funds for the ALC expansion.  In an exciting update; we were recently gifted a $30,000 match that will give us a much-needed push towards our end goal of $125,000.  Please consider donating towards this matched gift in order to make your dollar go twice as far! 

8th grade students studying physics and chemistry
8th grade students studying physics and chemistry

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Sep 17, 2021

Continued Dedication Despite Hardships

With the limitations of Niger’s health care system and poor access to vaccines, the coronavirus pandemic continues to have major impacts throughout the country.  The number of COVID-19 cases in Niger has remained relatively low at 5,929, but with only 0.4% of people fully vaccinated, there is still a lot of work to be done.  The effects of lockdowns, reduced working hours, job loss, and travel and movement restrictions have increased poverty in Niger to 41.7%, pushing 400,000 more people into extreme poverty. 

Your generosity has allowed RAIN to fulfill immediate needs that address the emerging challenges of the past year.  During the height of the pandemic many schools were shut down, often leading to many students dropping out.  Through our local mentoring program we were able to ensure that most students in our partner schools returned when schools reopened.  For RAIN’s mentored students the drop out rate was only 0.7%, significantly lower than the regional averages of 17%.  This year mentoring programs also focused on teaching proper hygiene to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and keep COVID rates down as much as possible in our partner schools and communities.  We put your gifts to work by distributing soap, establishing washing stations, and partnering with Niger’s Department of Health to raise awareness, allowing our partner communities to remain resilient during this challenging time. 

Our savings and loan programs for women also helped to mitigate some of the added stress on local economies due to the pandemic.  These programs enabled 115 women from rural and nomadic communities to borrow an average of $175 to stabilize their food and water security and create more opportunities to generate income and support themselves financially into the future. 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to adversely affect Nigerians more than a year and a half later, please consider continuing your support so that these vulnerable communities may endure.  With your help, we will weather this storm together. 

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Jul 27, 2021

Hidi Shares about How You've Helped

Hidi shares her struggles and hopes with RAIN
Hidi shares her struggles and hopes with RAIN

mHidi is a mother of 6 and serves as President of the Women's Group of Torguit. In her role, she works closely with the other women of her community so that, together, they can ensure that they have the resources and opportunities they need to live full, healthy lives.

Below are Hidi's words as she shared about her experiences over the last year, the challenges of Covid, and her hopes for the future:

"I am the President of the Women’s Group of Torguit and I speak on behalf of all the women in our village.

Over the past year, with Covid-19, members of our community were scattered. Many of us were forced to sell our animals in order to feed our families. This year, RAIN worked hard to find us partners to drill a borehole well. This water will allow our families to drink. Now, we hope to practice market gardening, which will allow us to overcome the difficulties caused by confinement and Covid-19. Bless you."

Thank you for ensuring Hidi, her children, and her community have access to clean water. Safe drinking water is critical in any community and the health impacts on handwashing and maintaining hygiene have been underscored with Covid.

Between the well in Betarmatas and this new well in Torguit, you've helped us reach over 3,500 Nigeriens this year. We hope you'll continue to support this project so these communities can leverage their new access to water in order to achieve Hidi's dream - to use market gardening to rebuild from the losses of Covid.

Please also consider asking a friend to join you by matching your gift - if everyone brings one friend along, we can raise twice as much and reach twice as many Nigeriens!

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions and if you want more RAIN updates, check out our website, newsletter, and social media pages.

With gratitude,

the RAIN team

The women of Torguit sing with joy at the new well
The women of Torguit sing with joy at the new well

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