Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger

by Rain for the Sahel and Sahara
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Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Mentoring for At-Risk Nomadic Girls in Rural Niger
Staying in school means marrying later
Staying in school means marrying later

Hawa is a student in 4ieme (8th grade) in the Aouderas Middle School. In addition to working with a local woman mentor, Hawa receives free daily after-school classes to help her succeed academically. The program has helped Hawa and she's ranked 6th among the students in her year at school.

Below are her words about her experience with RAIN's Middle School Mentoring Program:

“I attended primary school in the village of Elmiki, where I was raised. My father was never home when I was growing up. He left on ‘exode’ to neighboring countries or he went looking for gold at mining sites. When I passed the exams at the end of the Primary School Cycle, I was admitted to the Aouderas Middle School.  

In the beginning [when I got to Aouderas], I was so discouraged I wanted to drop out of  school and return home – even if that meant making the long journey alone on foot or riding a donkey. Luckily, I was enrolled in RAIN’s mentoring program. With the support and guidance of my mentor, I was encouraged and motivated to continue my studies and to  succeed – even when it felt difficult. We benefited from the daily after school classes and our mentors met with us two or three times a week to guide us. I wouldn’t have gotten this  far without that support. Otherwise, I think a long time ago I would have dropped out and gone home – I’d be with the other girls my age in my village – not in school, or even married to some stranger. Instead, I’m in 4ieme with an average of 14,95 which puts me 6th  among the students in my year. I am grateful for the mentors and the professors at my  middle school. In turn, today I encourage my peers, the other girls in school, that they can also persevere to succeed.”

Thank you for ensuring Hawa has the chance to continue her education. We hope you'll continue to support this project so Hawa and girls like her have the support they need to persevere through their challenges. 

Please also consider asking a friend to join you by matching your gift - if everyone brings one friend along, we can raise twice as much and reach twice as many girls!

Don't hesitate to reach out with questions and if you want more RAIN updates, check our our website, newsletter, and social media pages.

With gratitude,

The RAIN Team

Mentors support academics AND life skills
Mentors support academics AND life skills

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Peer networks create community and offer support
Peer networks create community and offer support

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.

100% of students enrolled in RAIN's mentoring program last year returned to their studies this year. 

It's too early in the year to have academic results but no grade-point-average could mean more than knowing these girls will continue to pursue an education.

Through your donation, you've helped to ensure over 600 elementary and middle school students receive the support they need to keep studying and working toward a brighter future.

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!

Rakia builds confidence & looks toward the future
Rakia builds confidence & looks toward the future

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Elementary School kids in the streets of Soulefet
Elementary School kids in the streets of Soulefet

As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough, Niger has experienced terrible flooding this year – the worst flooding in generations. Hundreds of thousands of Nigeriens were displaced and tens of thousands of people lost their homes, their fields, their herds. These extreme weather patterns are making a difficult climate even harder to survive.

This flooding was so severe that the government delayed the start of the school year nationwide. But our partners are resilient and, with your support, they persevere – even against pandemics and flooding.

Schools re-opened for in-person learning on October 15th. Knowing how hard last year was - and anticipating another challenging year - RAIN has doubled down on our support for elementary and middle school children to pursue an education.

This fall, we began working with over 100 local women to serve as mentors to over 600 students across 4 middle schools and 18 elementary schools. This additional support is critical to help enroll kids in school and to keep them there. The pandemic pulled children out of school and then the floods stopped the school year from starting, but now, finally, these children are ready to learn.

With your help, hundreds of Nigerien children are starting the school year off strong – school fees paid, pens and notebooks at the ready. Thank you for all you’ve done. We hope you’ll continue to support this project to ensure that these kids, who have fought so hard to stay in school, have the support they need to do so.

Please consider sharing this opportunity with your friends and family - none of us can do it alone.

We look forward to updating you as the school year progresses!

Middle School is tough but support helps!
Middle School is tough but support helps!

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This has been an especially challenging period in Niger. The country had its first case of coronavirus in late March and the government reacted swiftly - they shut the borders, asked people to remain home, and closed schools from Kindergarten through University. The government's reaction was necessary - Niger simply doesn't have the medical infrastructure to deal with a widespread outbreak. Unfortunately, as we've seen in many other countries, the impact of the virus goes well beyond the virus itself. 

Niger holds one of the highest rates of “education poverty” in the world, reflecting the reality that Niger’s population, while largely under 15, is not consistently enrolled in or attending school. Among girls, just 4% complete primary school and a paltry 2% complete secondary school.

This year, RAIN’s Mentoring program worked with 133 women across 21 communities to support 665 youth. Enrollment increased by 37% including a remarkable 62% increase among girls. But now, with coronavirus, that is all at risk. With school closures and families tightening their wallets to make it through the crisis, education takes a backseat. RAIN must remain alongside its partner communities and shore up support to ensure the progress that has been made is not lost. We know our mentors are key to keeping education a community-priority, even during COVID.

Fortunately, the government’s COVID response is working and schools reopened in late May. RAIN worked with our partner schools to deliver over 40 cartons of soap and establish washing stations for students to use when entering or exiting the classroom. In communities without running water, maintaining this hygiene in group settings - such as a school - is critical to continued health and, of course, continued education. 

We see a bright future for our mentored students in Niger – we ask that you stand alongside us to ensure that that future comes to pass. Thank you for your generosity and for standing by these communities in need. Please consider sharing this opportunity with your friends and family - none of us can do it alone.

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Over 300 Nigerien girls are being mentored this year and this mentorship is paying off! While enrollment across Niger is still quite low, enrollment is growing in our partner schools. Last year, girls represented just 41% of students at the Aouderas Middle School. Now, girls make up 51% of the student body. With the support of local mentors, more and more girls are enrolling and they're succeeding! 

Last year, the Aouderas Middle School had a 78% success rate on the National Exam. That's 3x higher than the success rate in the regional capital. One of the mentored girls earned the highest grades in the entire department. There's nothing better to show girls they can succeed than seeing the successes of their friends and neighbors. 

RAIN Mentor Tanalher talks about a young girl from her community who dropped out of school for 2 years. She had started middle school but abandoned it because she didn't have the support she needed to succeed. She returned home, feeling hopeless and without direction. Through the encouragement of the local mentors, she resumed her studies, completed middle school, and this year began high school! This is a significant achievement in a community where so few people complete elementary school. 

She says "I am emotional and can’t find the words to describe my feelings, I know that thanks to your initiative, my life has changed for the better. I was living without an objective, without a vision for the future, but now I’m fulfilled, full of vision and clarity. I am confident in the future."

GlobalGiving donors like you have made this possible for young girls throughout Niger. You are creating opportunity through education. Thank you for your generosity and for ensuring girls receive the support they need to thrive. 

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Organization Information

Rain for the Sahel and Sahara

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rain4sahara
Project Leader:
Freya Hoffman-Terry
Portsmouth, NH United States
$27,903 raised of $45,000 goal
 
466 donations
$17,097 to go
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