Apr 8, 2019

Growing a Brighter Future

Creating a Garden
Creating a Garden

 Sustainable food – Sustainable income – Sustainable lives.

Climate change increases variability in rainfall, resulting in extreme droughts and floods. This variability significantly impacts Niger’s fragile soil, crop production, and access to potable water– exacerbating pre-existing issues in a country already prone to food crises.

  • 80% of Niger is covered by the Sahara Desert and temperature increases are expected to be 1.5x higher than the rest of the world.
  • Just 12% of the country’s soil is naturally suited for agriculture.
  • 80% of families rely on crops for livelihood.
  • 2 Million people are chronically food insecure; 4.5 Million are at risk of becoming food insecure.
  • 64% of rural Nigeriens lack access to clean water and waterborne illness is the second biggest killer of children in Niger.

In the face of all these challenges, these gardens are more important now than ever.  RAIN’s Sustainable Agriculture program has provided access to safe drinking water through the installation of 22 wells; increased the variety of nutritious foods available to over 11,000 Nigeriens through the implementation of over 20 community gardens; and helped communities across Niger to turn subsistence agriculture into a business through 3-season drip irrigation and financial literacy.

Sustainable Agriculture Model

  • Deep wells & 3-season drip irrigation ensures limited water resources are used efficiently to maximize harvest outputs.
  • Introducing a healthy mix of grains, fruits & vegetables improves nutrition.
  • Lessons on irrigation, diversification, crop rotation, etc increase yields. Lessons on basic business principles increase profits.

Program Reach

  • Last year, 60 gardeners in 3 gardens produced 7160 lbs of harvest.
  • Lessons on organic agriculture produced
  • 3x the harvest of the previous year.
  • Lessons on basic business principles produced 5x the profit of the previous year.

In the words of one participant:

Before RAIN came to our village, I didn't know anything about gardening. Now I know how to prepare the soil, transplant seedlings, and use drip irrigation with organic pesticide. I work to produce my own vegetables.

Across over 20 communities in the Sahel and the Sahara, Nigeriens are growing a better future.  Thank you for supporting RAIN in these efforts.

Apr 5, 2019

Testimonials from Our Girls and Partners

Mentor and Mentee
Mentor and Mentee

We believe that the words of our participants are the most persuasive reasons to support this project.  We spoke with Hadiza, a middle school student in Arlit. She was visiting Iferouane, where her cousin, Ounmou, a student who had gone through RAIN’s mentoring program, was to be married. 

Ounmou was engaged for several years but because of Ounmou’s strong desire to continue her studies, with the support of her mentor, Ounmou was able to arrange for a delay of her marriage by 3 years while she completed her studies. Ounmou’s mentor helped her to establish this arrangement. In turn, Ounmou served as a role model for her counsinHadiza, who was struck by Ounmou’s insistence on continuing with her education. Hadiza expressed how her cousin’s choices had made an impression on her and encouraged her to stay in school as well.

 

Fatima, a Tuareg girl from the village of Baytal, east of Agadez on the road to Dabaga, is in 6ème (the first year of middle school):

“My family lives simply: the women do the housework and drive our herds to the pasture. There is no mill, no electricity, no boreholes to easily find water. 

In the city of Agadez, it is the Agadez Learning Center that impressed me the most with its study programs, dormitories, the food, the various advisory supports and other officials of the ALC Center, and the students of different ethnic groups from different areas of the country.  When I finish my studies, I would like to become a primary school teacher, to live and not depend on anyone, and help my little brothers and sisters in my village.”

 

Aicha is a Fulani girl from the village of Golkorehi, south of Ingal.  She is in 5ème (the second year of middle school). She comes from an elementary school where there was just one teacher for multiple grades of students. She explains what women’s lives look like where she comes from:

“The women of my village live well, in perfect harmony; they help each other but we have an issue with water – only women fetch water and it can take a period of four hours or sometimes more to draw the water and load it on the donkeys.”

 

Souleyman, an Elementary School Director notes:

We are so grateful to RAIN for the support given to our school this year. It is my second year [as School Director] and I have struggled with both community involvement and a lack of teachers:

The women mentors in the community are a pleasant surprise as most rural schools rarely see parents or anyone in the community visiting the school or discussing students’ progress.

Look at my classroom. The children are all together here, from three different grades. I do my best to instruct them together and to give them individual attention as we have 6th graders that need special support to be able to continue on to middle school. The afterschool classes have helped so much. When the official school day ends and RAIN’s program begins, I feel like I can really teach what I need to.

 

Tanalher, one of our local, female mentors reflects about the mentoring program and value of education, telling Azara Touma-Touma Ibrahim (RAIN’s Women and Girls Program Coordinator) that:

RAIN’s school programs this year greatly helped our school. In their free time, I talk with my students about good hygiene and the importance of education. I also teach the girls I sponsor how to weave colored, palm-frond hats and mats. If my parents had realized the importance of school for my generation, we would have studied and [the new generation] wouldn’t have this problem of lacking teachers.

Jan 8, 2019

New Communities are Gaining Mentors

Since expanding to the southern Tillaberi region of Niger in 2009, RAIN has gained many motivated community partners to take part in the widely popular mentoring program. We're happy to share that the community of Etaghas, with your help, is embarking on this journey of education and new opportunity for girls and women alike.

The initial community meetings, recruitment process and training has taken place - the stage is set for the joyful task of empowering girls to succeed.

Etaghas Mentoring Program 

The Etaghas School serves several surrounding area hamlets, each of which is represented by a mentor. This arrangement serves to unite the greater community around our important education initiative. The five mentors will help spark the drive in twenty five elementary school students. As in all RAIN mentoring programs, mentors are teaching their students valuable practical skills, including the craft of straw and stalk weaving that is a tradition in the region.
                                 
We look forward to updating you in the very near future as these two mentoring programs bloom to give at-risk girls a leg up in school and in life. None of it is possible without your support - thank you!

 
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