Halima Orte, Pres. of Barka Cooperative & her son
Dear friends and supporters,
I was so pleased to be in Niger last week to attend a meeting of Wodaabe women artisans of the Barka Embroidery cooperative – a RAIN partner – and their school’s director. The purpose – to decide how the women would invest the $730 they have earned to support their school in Foudouk.
This sum represents ½ the women’s earnings over the last months. They are so proud to step forward to help the school which, though a public school, receives little assistance from Niger’s underfunded government.
It’s the Hungry Season in Niger – it hasn’t rained since last September and food stocks are running low as nomadic people wait for this year’s rainy season to bring much needed pasture to the herd animals that are their livelihoods. RAIN is helping to deal with hunger with its animal feed program.
Milk from the cows and goats that their parents herd is the main source of food for Foudouk’s children. When food is scarce, children are especially susceptible to illness.
The women and the school director agreed that medicines are the most pressing need. The school director will help to organize a pharmacy at the school, while the women will stock it with medicines to treat the most common of the children’s illnesses. The project is overseen by a steering committee of women from the artisan cooperative.
Women are key to economic development in Africa. Cheers to RAIN’s women artisans who are earning livelihoods while supporting their children’s schools! And to you, our donors.
Warm regards, Bess Palmisciano
Binbiya Marafa, Pres. of the pharmacy committee
A well near Foudouk
chief of the Foudouk Wodaabe people
The village of Foudouk with ceremonial beds
A tote bag with embroidery by Foudouk cooperative