Every day, nomadic and rural children in Niger walk miles to find water, suffer the loss of a sibling due to drought or disease, or go hungry. A good education, like rain, is scarce here – especially for girls. Without it, a child’s opportunities and future choices evaporate more with each passing year.
The Learning Center you've helped to support in the city of Agadez brings these underserved children a chance for higher education. With your help, we can now make possible for 2014:
- Encouragement and support of the students through weekly visits with local RAIN mentors. Mentors have been trained in discussing health, hygiene, gender roles and other topics and advocate for the students with school personnel and families. Our experience shows at least 20% more mentored girls return to school each year than their classmates. Members of RAIN's local women artisan cooperative will likely fill this role.
- Counseling for vocational and leadership skills. We wish to cultivate the girls' interests, skills and dreams for the future. And, while scholarship remains the primary goal, we will include leadership workshops and discussions around social issues. Nomadic people have little voice in the political or social structure of Niger. Education and inclusion opens new avenues for seeking change.
- A computer resource center to provide access to the global web of information and to develop computer skills
- A School Market Garden - 1,000 square meters of agriculture providing cash crops and several tons of produce per growing season
- Improved kitchen facilities, such as replacing the present outdoor kitchen and converting from open fire cooking to a propane cooktop
- A stage to foster educational and creative projects
- A recreational area to enjoy sports and other outdoor activities
The annual tuition for each of our 28 students at our Learning Center costs about $1000 per year. This amount covers everything from room and board to uniforms, books, and medical treatment. Through this project, you've raised nearly $900. Your support has made possible for one of the three additional girls from our partner community mentor programs to go on to middle school!
These children of the desert are used to the open air, the stars, and the winds. Their new home for the next two to three years is in a foreign place, a city of 30,000 people. It's a brave choice to take this step into the unknown future so far from their communities. Thanks to you, we're able to make it an experience worthwhile of all their sacrifice and hard work.
As this groundbreaking project enters it's second year, we hope you'll continue to follow and support our progress on GlobalGiving as we continue to raise funds and awareness for nomadic students in Niger. Please visit our new project page and share all you've made possible with your friends. We part with this fun "slice of life" video of Wodaabe students embroidering together at the learning center!