Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN) partners with rural and nomadic desert people of West Africa to enable enduring livelihoods through access to education.
Jan 3, 2017

Mentoring to save girls in need

Girls in rural Niger need support to help them attain their dreams. Mentors help these girls to prosper and understand the importance of education. These girls would be subjected to circular poverty, without these mentors. The provided not only guidance but also life skills and traditional crafting skills. 

Naoumi: "My mentor has helped me understand the difficulties that I would have without her. It is important to have someone that you can rely and lean on. My mentor always gives useful information and teaches us helpful skills like basket weaving. You can make 10 CFA when the baskets are sold at the market. I'm not good enough yet, but soon I will be."

It is imperative to help these girls further their education and understand the relevance and importance of school. Please help Naoumi by giving her a continued attention by her mentor. They are truly the people that help these students the most. Donate today to help community development through education.

Dec 14, 2016

Giving to Children In Desperate Need

Meet Naoude, a 14 year old girl from Tagdoumt in the desert region of Niger. She has experienced the struggles of rural life -- from frequent droughts that killed all her family’s herd animals to illnesses like malaria and measles. She, like all of our students, wants an education. Naoude is one of only 3% of the girls in her region who successfully complete primary school. Because there are no middle schools near remote settlements, she had no way to further her education. Then Azara Touma Touma Ibrahim, RAIN’s coordinator of programs for women and children, recruited her for our Agadez Learning Center.

Naoude is thrilled to be with us. “At the Center, I like the electric light that makes everything clear as if it is day and the availability of water without long walks to a well. Teachers come to give us tutoring in our courses; food is available, practical skills activities are offered. And finally, RAIN’s staff gives us everything needed to make our lives pleasant at the Center and to allow us to succeed in our schooling.

“At home I help my mom do housework. As soon as I wake up and finish my morning prayer I leave to fetch water at the village well. After I return home, I wash the dishes and the kitchen utensils of the house; I sweep the yard, participate in the preparation of daily meals, go into the bush to fetch firewood and, sometimes, I wash the clothes of my parents and my siblings. If I could not further my education my life would continue with this same routine. I would marry soon and have many children.

“When I grow up, my wish is to be a primary school teacher in my village because it is through education that a town, or country, develops and moves toward a better future.”


In Niger, the poorest country in the world, students need our help to obtain educations, to learn skills, and gain voices in society. By donating now you will bring access to education and so much more to girls and at-risk boys who are in desperate need of your support. Your investment puts our students on the road to self-sustaining and enduring livelihoods.  You have been there with RAIN leading the way to better lives. You know that we -- RAIN and you -- are the ones who “come back,” generating real, resilient progress.

Rain for the Sahel and Sahara provides sustainable solutions by partnering with local communities. Our mentoring program empowers women and girls through knowledge and sustaining livelihoods. In 2016 our mentoring, gardening and women’s artisan programs reached 6,400 direct beneficiaries, while our wells provided water to over 23,000 people in 14 communities.

In 2016, we focused on bringing livelihoods to our mentors. Now, each woman receives a monthly stipend of $8.50 from RAIN. With Savings & Loan Groups and goat herds the women will earn more than the stipend. They will be empowered to continue their mentoring program through the years with no investment from RAIN except providing advice as needed.

  • At the primary school level 145 mentors are helping 450 girls and 125 at-risk boys to attend 23 village schools and succeed there – we need to add 30 mentors in 2017 year to enable 150 more girls to thrive in primary school – and go beyond to secondary school;
  • There are 25 scholarship students at the Agadez Learning Center, who with RAIN housing, meals, tutoring and mentoring support have access to secondary education that is beyond reach for rural and nomadic students;
  • There are 220 women in 3 garden cooperatives growing crops organically, learning about vitamins and cooking with nutritious vegetables;
  • Fifteen communities continue to have access to water with RAIN wells – water that also improves food security through garden irrigation. 
  • Savings & Loan groups are the next step to financial independence for mentors and other women in our partner communities. Once trained, women will not only run their own S&L groups, some will go on to become community trainers.

Please donate today – online or by sending your check with the enclosed form. You may choose to sponsor a student at the Agadez Learning Center or donate any amount and let us choose the program that needs it most. It is your donation that will make this progress possible.


If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.                      

If you want to touch the future, touch a life.  — Unknown

Reach out, touch a young life, and you will both move toward a brighter future.


With gratitude for all you do,


Bess Palmisciano



Nov 17, 2016

Help a rural Nigerien child get education

In the Niger bush only 1-2% of students continue past the sixth grade. Many of these children are motivated to further their educations, but there are no middle schools anywhere near their homes. RAIN is gathering dedicated students who show promise in primary school to come to the Agadez Learning Center. The ALC provides students with room, board, tutors, mentors, and leadership training. Of the only 15% of rural children who attend school, on average girls complete only 3 years, while boys complete 4.

Student sponsorship’s is one of the greatest gifts that a donor can give. Sponsoring a RAIN student gives a motivated, talented young person in the world’s poorest country the opportunity to succeed against the odds.

RAIN is gathering dedicated students who show promise in primary school to come to the Agadez Learning Center. The ALC provides students with room, board, tutors, mentors, and leadership training. Students like Moussa a 15 year old boy with short dark hair and a bright smile who is a dedicated hard working student at the ALC. He loves playing sports and games with the other boys and is very intuitive. 

“If I did not have the chance to come to RAIN’s center, things would be difficult. First of all, my parents are poor and have no money. Even to go to first grade, I had problems with money. My parents never went to school. If I was not in the Agadez Learning Center, I would finish the school day and find myself discouraged and tired. I would not have enough food to eat. Without the after-school tutoring, the difficult materials would be too hard.” 

             By sponsoring a student like Moussa you help them to overcome severe challenges they faces every day. Our students are motivated and determined -- students supporting them is incredibly rewarding. With the generosity of donors like you more and more children will lift themselves out of a life of poverty.


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