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Dec 31, 2019

Goat Yoga for a Cause

Cuddling goats
Cuddling goats

In the spirit of the approaching new year, we are sending a new and possibly unexpected update! Today we are highlighting an unusual fundraiser we held for our goat herding program: Goat Yoga and Cuddling for a Cause!

As you may know, in Niger, a lack of opportunity is sending men out of their communities to seek work in other countries, leaving women and children behind. But through sustainable goat herding, women can provide for their families and their communities, promoting self-sufficiency and women-driven development. Many people in these communities live on less than $2 a day. They need our help to get their businesses off the ground. In recognition of the similar challenges women face across the globe, Legacy Lane Farm, Jordan Taylor Wellness, and Rain for the Sahel and Sahara collaborated to hold goat yoga fundraisers in Portsmouth NH to raise money for this worthy cause. The response was joyful and uplifting!

We are still working to reach our goal - $1020, that would be enough to train the women to run their business, buy 16 goats, and feed and vaccinate them for a year. We hope you will help us reach this goal for 2020!

 

 

Yoga with Goats
Yoga with Goats
Friendly Goats
Friendly Goats
Dec 31, 2019

You help kids like Maoude

Imagine if you’d had to leave school at 5th grade. Think how different your life would be.

For many Nigeriens, this is the best case scenario.

Young Nigeriens from rural areas rarely have the opportunity to attend middle school. Almost no one has a local middle school in their village! Now students don’t have to give up – thanks to YOU. Since 2013, you have given students a chance through the Agadez Learning Center.

The situation is not hopeless. With access to opportunity, kids succeed.

 

Maoude is a powerful case in point!

Will you give today to help ensure education doesn't stop at 5th grade?

Maoude grew up outside a small village in rural Niger. His opportunities were limited. Fortunately, Maoude was one of the first students at the learning center and in 2016, after completing middle school, you gave him the chance to go to high school.

Already, his story was a success. But Maoude went on to do more.

This fall, Maoude began his freshman year at the University of Agadez where he is studying Biology and Environmental Studies. Maoude and his friend, Alabouri, also an ALC graduate, are the ONLY TWO Wodaabe Fulani students at the university. Without you, they would not have made it there at all.

Thank you for giving Maoude the chance of a lifetime to go to college.

Now, Maoude is following in your footsteps. Last month, Maoude joined several recruitment trips to help more Wodaabe Fulani students to access secondary school.

Maoude represents what can be achieved through your partnership. He is doing his part to ensure more bright minds have the opportunities they deserve – to explore, to grow, and eventually to give back.

You believe in these kids – You care, and it makes all the difference.

Dec 23, 2019

How Our Model Works: More Clean Water, More Fresh Food

New Solar Powered Water Pump - Opening Day
New Solar Powered Water Pump - Opening Day

Some have asked how our Community Garden model works in rural Nigerien communities. We'd like to share our process:

The first step in RAIN’s Community Garden model is to identify and work with community stakeholders to form a committee to address their food and water security needs. Many times a community will have heard about our gardens from a neighboring community that has a successful garden and they will ask to become a member of the program.

While the well is being drilled, RAIN’s field agents identify and train interested participants, usually women, in sustainable agricultural and business practices, to help them build an income from the produce they sell. Our training extends beyond gardens – participants learn to develop a business plan, maximize profits, and seek cooperative solutions when issues arise. Often, these women already participate in our other programs, making it easier to build trust.

RAIN also provides seed varieties and trains participants in nutritional practices so that the gardens reinforce balanced diets that tackle malnutrition. We provide gardeners with crops for each season that diversify their nutritional intake and maintain the gardens’ soil quality throughout the year. Lastly, we establish a three-season drip-irrigation system to minimize water waste, increase efficiency (labor vs. yield), and so that community gardens can be cultivated even during the drier seasons in Niger. This helps to maximize food production and reduce intervals between harvests, building food security in our partner communities.

To build “ownership” and self-sufficiency into our model, each community garden is managed by a committee of elected community members. The committee is responsible for maintaining the wells and garden by establishing a savings fund that all gardeners in the community contribute to. This fund covers maintenance work for the wells as well as pesticides and fertilizers needed to ensure a high crop yield. Typically, the committee assumes full responsibility for the gardens and wells within three to four years of program implementation.

While RAIN has over a decade of experience with gardening in Niger, this past Spring/Summer was our first time working with a new technology – borehole wells with solar powered submersible pumps. To carry out the project, we engaged BeHydra, a Nigerien-founded water company that oversaw everything from the geophysical study, to the drilling, to the solar panel installation. We were extremely happy with their professionalism and the quality of their work. It is too early in the process to see the full results of the wells, but so far our partner communities have been pleased with the process: both wells (each 50+ meters deep) have seen positive outputs (between 1.5-3.5m3/hour). This level of output should be sufficient to support garden expansion in Nassile and Tagantassou – possibly quadrupling the amount of land that can be irrigated. Additionally, the new pumping systems will better enable the garden committees to accurately track water usage. We believe that going through this process in Nassile and Tagantassou has prepared us to bring this technology to Imboraghan and Betarmatas as well.

With your support, we will work to achieve the following outcomes in 2020-2021: 

  • Train and empower 165 gardeners across 4 communities with the knowledge and skills to build livelihoods from sustainable agriculture; 
  • Establish over 23,800m2 of drip-irrigated garden plots across 4 partner communities; 
  • Harvest at least 2,500 Kg of crops per year to meet food and nutritional needs of at least 825 adults and children directly and 2,000 people in neighboring villages; 
  • Equip community gardeners with business practices and entrepreneurial skills to double their income from gardening activities 

As always, thank you for your dedication to Niger, and your support of Rain for the Sahel and Sahara!

WIshing you a safe and Happy New Year!

New Water Tower
New Water Tower
 
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