RAIN brings hope and food to communities of rural and nomadic people. Our Women’s Community Gardens provide economic stability and healthy options for families in the surrounding communities. These gardens give women the added boost that they need to get through difficult times and feed their children. Not only are they able to feed their families, but they are also able to sell their extra crops for a profit. Both supporting their community and themselves which is creating a big impact.
Cold season growing helps women prepare for the hot-dry season. With irrigated crops, water is able to be provided year long. Without ready available water sources, like wells or irrigated water drip systems the crops dry and die. This year’s late rains have jeopardized many gardens. Well-irrigated women’s community gardens help buffer the burdened families during these difficult times. Families use the women’s garden as a source for their sauces that they eat, which provide more nourishment and flavor then they would otherwise receive.
There are many types of crops that these women rely on to feed their families. Onion, cucumber, pumpkin and squash, to name a few, play a huge role in the garden. They use most parts of the vegetables. They remove the onion’s leaves to use as added flavor and crush them into a powder. They have the ability to store these for harder times or to sell and produce a profit from their plot. Many of these foods can be dehydrated and last a long time. Being able to create stores of food is very important with the unpredictable rains and shifting seasons.
“The most difficult thing is just keeping up with the well-being of my family. Our daily household work and the difficulties that we face always challenge us. I am looking forward to working consistently in the garden to produce a lot. This will help improve the quality of food we eat and may help earn money in times of need.”- Mariam.
Women use a technique of protecting their crops by planting corn rows on the east side of the garden. These rows of corn act as a wind buffer and protect the lower land plants from mixing seeds. Women are taught to garden. Many of these women have never gardened before, but learn and grow with the garden itself. This creates skills that can be passed on to others in the community.
By donating you provide women with skills, seeds, equipment, and the ability to feed their families. This only strengthens women like Mariam and empowers others like her.
It’s true; teach a person to fish and she will have a skill that rewards her for the rest of her life. And there are so many things that make our lives better – but only if we know about them. Those of us with Google at our fingertips satisfy our curiosity every day.
Rain for the Sahel and Sahara is bringing education to nomadic and rural women and children who have never had the opportunity to understand our planet, our climate or the illnesses that bring them low.
RAIN seeks books, computers and knowledge for students who yearn to learn. Our Agadez Learning Center (ALC) offers room & board, tutoring and mentoring to motivated, smart primary school graduates who have no access to secondary school. For these students, and the society in which they live education is key to poverty.
“When I am at the center I have enough water, food, mats, beds, notebooks and pens and lights at night. I can review my schoolwork whenever I want because we have light at night. Truly the center is very beautiful.” – Bellol.
Having a solar-powered library and computer room will allow students to benefit from information as never before. Many have never seen a laptop, there are no computers in their schools and electricity is not reliable.
Help us to share the power of information with eager girls and boys who are eager to bring skills home to help their communities. Our students share intention of providing for their families and communities. Bellol has that intention. This is what is so powerful about the rural and nomadic communities -- they work together to survive and progress.
The RAIN solar library will give opportunity to students that truly want to empower themselves; who want to succeed. RAIN needs your help to build this special space. Having a place that promotes opportunity is so rare in West Africa. Support for these remarkable people comes in many forms from RAIN, but all is rooted in learning. Join Rain for the Sahel and Sahara to help the simplest of dreams – healthy lives, food on table, knowledge of and connection to the world – come true.
Lend a hand to the most needy. They will do so much more than go fishing. Donate now!
Girls in rural and nomadic Niger are the most susceptible to falling into circular poverty. Niger is one of the poorest counties in the world. Women are affected by this the most. However it has been shown that women give back to their communities and families more often than men. With education comes the safeguard against child marriage, cyclical poverty and illiteracy.
The mentoring program that RAIN has set up, allows young girls to be guided by older women to continue their schooling. The women will be counselors, talking to students and parents alike. Many of the parents have never finished primary school let alone secondary school. With the mentors help the students are learning and staying in school longer. It is imperative that the parents understand the importance of school. Girls can be married off at the age of 12 sometimes younger, so every year that they remain in school gives them that better chance to ensure a better future.
I have two professional options defined as follows:
“First, be a teacher to help educate the young of my village and secondly, be a professional trainer like our mentor Madame Azara in order to support women in my village. I could help women to develop management skills in small businesses that they will be using to earn money.
The income generating activities (practical skills) our trainer teaches in the center will allow us to help our sisters who have not had the chance to go to school or continue their education cycle, to learn a job that will satisfy our financial needs.” – Doulla Student.
The mentor program gives women the skills they need to help one another and teach, not only the young girls, but also other women in the communities. With the growth of one comes the growth of many. The Agadez Learning Center is also a way that the girls can gain support to remain in school. The ALC offers tutoring programs and a primary school education. Many students are benefiting from this building and the mentors themselves stated above are given training to teach them business and leadership skills. This in turn helps them motivate the students to achieve more and continue to grow and learn.