Education  Niger Project #23950

Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger

by Rain for the Sahel and Sahara
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Bring Lights, Books and Computers to Niger
Nafissa envisions her future, thanks to the ALC
Nafissa envisions her future, thanks to the ALC

As a student at RAIN' Agadez Learning Center, Nafissa has the opportunity to attend middle school in the city of Agadez. She receives room and board as well as the chance to show her family and her community just how much girls like her can achieve!

Below are her words about her experiences at the ALC:

"As I was ready to enter 6th grade, I had the opportunity to be recruited to the ALC. I was welcomed and I found everything I needed there in order to continue my studies. Thanks to the ALC, I am able to continue my studies well and I'll do everything I can in order to make it to the end. If not, right now, who knows, I might be a housewife like my friends back in the village. The ALC protects me from that situation, which I wouldn't want at all. If I have the chance to continue my studies, I want to be a healthcare worker to earn a living and help my parents, my brothers, and my sisters and also to prove to the community that a woman can also provide for her family."

Thank you for ensuring Nafissa has the chance to continue her education. We hope you'll continue to support this project so Nafissa 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 on 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 out our website, newsletter, and social media pages.

With gratitude,

the RAIN team

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Installing solar panels on the girls' dorm
Installing solar panels on the girls' dorm

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.

This year, the Agadez Learning Center is hosting 32 middle school youth - our biggest class yet. And we're taking steps to prepare for even more students next year.  

One of the changes we've made is that we just installed solar panels this week! Your support has enabled us to keep this project going so that, little by little, we can improve life for the students at the Agadez Learning Center. The solar panels will go a long way in improving both their living and their learning environment. 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!

Finishing the installation
Finishing the installation
View of the solar panels on top of the girls' dorm
View of the solar panels on top of the girls' dorm

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Less than 10% of girls begin Middle School
Less than 10% of girls begin Middle School

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 commitment to supporting rural and nomadic school children to pursue an education. This fall, we welcomed 32 disadvantaged students to the Agadez Learning Center. With your help, they are starting the school year off strong – school fees paid, pens and notebooks at the ready. In addition to room and board, the center will provide them with after-school reinforcement classes, peer-to-peer tutoring, life skills training, and mentoring. We are also raising funds to expand the girls' dorm and bathroom to accomodate more students in the future. Once the girl's dorm is complete, we plan to install solar panels to ensure electricty is available - all day, every day - without relying on the faulty local grid.

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.

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!

Providing room & board makes education possible
Providing room & board makes education possible
A new dorm could house 25 middle school girls
A new dorm could house 25 middle school girls

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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.

RAIN's Agadez Learning Center helps combat this by welcoming rural and nomadic youth to a residential center where they can study in safety and security. The student body is a mix of boys and girls from different underrepresented ethnic groups. It stives to help put them on equal footing with their peers from the city. 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. Education must remain a community-priority, even during COVID.

Fortunately, the government’s COVID response is working and schools reopened in late May. At the Agadez Learning Center, we established washing stations, distributed masks, and held trainings to help give students the resources and knowledge to return to school while maintaining their health. 

We see a bright future for our 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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In 2019-20, our Agadez Learning Center welcomed 34 middle school students and our Mentoring program worked with 133 women across 21 communities to support 665 youth. On average, school enrollment increased 18% but some newer partners have seen even more growth. At the Aouderas Middle School enrollment increased by 37% this year - including a remarkable 62% increase among girls. The programs meet critical needs for rural and nomadic students who rarely complete elementary school, much less continue beyond that.

This year, 335 middle school students benefited from after-school programming. The system of supplementary course hours protects students from strikes and helps ensure they will complete 100% of their annual curriculum, without disturbance. In addition to ensuring curriculum completion, the extra course hours provide teachers with enough time to work with students directly on revision – reviewing tricky subjects, answering questions, and more thoroughly engaging students in material.The support is working and in the Aouderas Middle School they’ve achieved almost three times the pass rate of the regional capital.

Another critical component to our support is that many rural students need to travel to middle school but have nowhere secure to stay. Reporting suggests 2/3 of students accepted to middle school aren’t enrolling because of this issue. In addition to our 34 Agadez Learning Center students, we provide homestay support for 47 high risk students through our mentoring program. We believe this program will help diversify the students who have the opportunity to pursue middle school by ensuring inclusion of underrepresented populations including ethnic minority groups, girls, and students with physical disabilities.

We seek to provide students with everything they need to succeed. Finally though, when we ask students to name the most important things they've received, we always get the same two answers: running water and electricity to study at night! It's easy to underestimate the power of "the basics" - we get so accustomed to them that we forget - but the basics are what lay a strong foundation for everything else that is to come!

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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:
Jacob Dolan-Bath
Portsmouth, New Hampshire United States
$1,481 raised of $5,000 goal
 
56 donations
$3,519 to go
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