Hundreds of thousands of Niger's nomadic peoples live in this desert country's most arid regions. It rains, sparsely, only three months of the year; with not a drop falling for 9 - 10 months. Parents move, seeking pasture and water for their herds of sheep and goats. For many, these animals provide their only nourishment and income. Hunger constantly threatens. To be educated, nomadic children must live at state-run schools which often have little or no food. Without food, school is untenable.
RAIN's large school gardens feed students, are self supporting with the cash crops grown, and are teaching nomadic children and adults sustainable agricultural skills. Gardens improve enrollment and nutrition and are key to future food security in our partner communities.
Each school market garden provides food to 50 - 200 children, providing critical supplementation to the staple diet of milk and millet and at times is their only meal of the day. The students and their parents learn drip-irrigation and organic agricultural techniques. School enrollment increases by 25%. Agriculture augments herding, drastically increasing food security. Up to 3 tons of food can be produced in a single growing season - especially valuable during food shortages, when costs rise.