May 20, 2021

Success Against All Odds

In the absence of vaccines, masks are critical
In the absence of vaccines, masks are critical

While Covid cases in Niger have risen to 5,356, the governmental response has been succesful.  The spike in cases has subsided and Covid deaths remain low. This is due in part to community level interventions to reduce the transmision of the virus.

With your help, RAIN provided 1,800 masks to ensure elementary and middle school students were not turned away from school for not meeting community health guidelines. This small donation - just 50 cents/mask - was the difference between being barred from school and the ability to continue learning. A small price to pay for an education. Thank you! 

While reinforcing masking, hand washing, and other health protocols, RAIN has continued to focus on the fallout beyond health - helping to meet families' economic and food security needs, which have become even more precarious with Covid. 

RAIN is working with women in our partner communities to establish and support women's entrepreneurial co-ops, so women can continue to earn to feed themselves and their families. Further, RAIN is working with the communities of Betarmatas and Torguit to establish access to safe water -- critical for hygiene, for drinking water, and to establish community gardens for greater access to food. 

Along with our community partners, we strive to find a balance between meeting critical urgent needs and ensuring we're laying the groundwork for greater resiliency over time. The fear is that even without contracting covid, the pandemic could be enough to knock individuals, families, or entire communities off the path of security. We're working with them to ensure covid doesn't stand in the way of education and opportunity. 

If you can, please give today -- or ask your friends or neighbors to join you in giving, so these familes can remain safe and secure as they continue to navigate the economic repurcussions of the pandemic. 

Links:

Mar 30, 2021

Success Against All Odds

Overlooking the terrain selected for the project
Overlooking the terrain selected for the project

Last year was really hard.

As Covid-19 hit - in Niger and around the world - many communities feared the health repurcussions. But in RAIN's partner communities, Covid's biggest impact was economic. Markets shut down and prices skyrocketed. Families already living on the edge had to find new ways to earn enough to buy food and other basic goods.

This experience reiterated how important it is for there to be local, sustainable solutions to food production. Right now, our team is breaking ground on a new well and community garden in Betarmatas. The project will provide access to safe drinking water to the community of Betarmatas and residents of the neighboring communities of Azangala and Azamalan - reaching 1,854 Nigeriens. 

This is critical because the community doesn't have access to potable water right now. The water that's available has high levels of natron (a sodium compound) - it cannot be drunk or used to water plants. As a result, the community relies on hand dug wells in the nearby quarry bed - but that water is only available seasonally and the open-mouth wells are easily contaminated by runoff. RAIN's solution will ensure year-round access to safe water. 

Further, the wells will irrigate a new community garden in which local women will collaborate to grow food to feed their families and their communities. We've already worked with them to clear the land and close it off with a living hedge - to protect the plants from animals. Additionally, RAIN staff has worked with the community to establish a local maintenance committee so the wells and garden will be cared for - long beyond RAIN's involvement.

Thank you for bringing safe drinking water to Betarmatas! In the coming months, we plan to do the same in Torguit - stay tuned!

Please also consider asking a friend or loved one to join you by matching your gift - we can go so much further together than we can alone.

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions. Otherwise, we'll be sure to send you another update soon!

Local women clear land for the community garden
Local women clear land for the community garden

Links:

Mar 11, 2021

Success Against All Odds

Installing solar panels on the girls' dorm
Installing solar panels on the girls' dorm

Last year was really hard.

As Covid-19 caused schools to shut down - in Niger and around the world - we worried about what would happen to girls who were out of school. Would they want to return to school? Would they be able to?

Families were struggling to put food on the table - would they marry their daughters off to ensure they were fed?

That might sound extreme but crises cause families to reevaluate their priorities. In Niger 75% of girls are married by age 18 and 23% of girls are married by 15.  We worried that for girls who were already missing school, their families might not see any point in waiting.

We were wrong.

This year, the Agadez Learning Center is hosting 32 middle school youth - our biggest class yet. And we're taking steps to prepare for even more students next year.  

One of the changes we've made is that we just installed solar panels this week! Your support has enabled us to keep this project going so that, little by little, we can improve life for the students at the Agadez Learning Center. The solar panels will go a long way in improving both their living and their learning environment. Thank you.

We hope you'll continue to support this project so these kids have the support they need to keep going, throughout this school year and beyond.

Please also consider asking a friend or loved one to join you by matching your gift - we can go so much further together than we can alone.

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions. Otherwise, we'll be sure to send you another update soon!

Finishing the installation
Finishing the installation
View of the solar panels on top of the girls' dorm
View of the solar panels on top of the girls' dorm

Links:

 
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