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Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN) forges partnerships with underserved rural and nomadic desert peoples of West Africa to realize their ambitions for education and enduring livelihoods.
RAIN values mutual respect - the giving and sharing of knowledge, skills and resources between RAIN and our stakeholders - our partner communities in West Africa. Basic education and secure livelihoods are critical to accessing the world of possibility for nomadic and rural peoples and their families. RAIN believes in the universally accepted values of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
There are many NGO's that help Africa. Very few are on the ground in rural, remote regions of West Africa. Niger is no exception. Though it is often ranked as the poorest country in world, the rural poor see little or no aid. RAIN answers the call.
Traditionally herders and caravaners, nomadic people in these regions are in trouble. They find themselves increasingly marginalized and with less and less room to live their lives as they have for centuries. Men must often leave their families in "exod" - relocating to neighboring countries to find work - weakening the fabric of their traditions and ability to survive. Increasing drought brings more frequent food shortages and uncertainty. Schools lay abandoned, and nomadic children must work to help their families survive.
Many nomadic children need help to stay in and succeed in school, especially girls. Our mentoring programs provide guidance, practical skills training, health education and advocacy for at-risk girls. Mentors become themselves literate, inspiring parents to do the same, creating a "Literacy Loop" of parents learning along with their children.
The cornerstone of RAIN's programs, School Market Gardens provide food for schoolchildren, boosting food security for the community as a whole. Children learn organic agricultural techniques in addition to their academic studies. Families come out to dig and plant the gardens, becoming invested in their success. Hand in hand with food security is access to water to irrigate the crops and provide fresh drinking water for all. Wells are dug where there were none, allowing children to attend school by freeing them from the task of fetching water.