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Winter 2011

Our Mentoring Program Enters 7th Year 


RAIN's mentoring and scholarship program has succeeded beyond our hopes, in ways we never imagined.  This October, Bess visited a group of mentors in Arlit to see how they were starting out in the new school year. They've worked together for six years and have developed a strong sense of mutual trust and confidence. They love working with the once at-risk students, who are all doing well in school.


The mentors highly value the program; they told us that if RAIN invested in some starter goats, they would keep a herd to support the program and their own families. A year later, the goats are thriving and multiplying. The women keep the female goats for milk and cheese for their families, and sell the males to generate funds for crafts and practical skills classes. At right, Arlit mentors.


Stories like these show us that with committed and motivated partners, education can be self-supporting.  We are committed to seeing these girls through school for as long as they can attend, and so are the women that are making it happen in Niger.


It costs $125 to give six girls a leg up and support 20 dedicated mentors.  We call that a great return on  a great investment!  We're so grateful to be sharing these exciting success stories, which we hope will inspire you to contribute this year for another year of earning and learning!  


So many dedicated women are leading the way in transforming nomadic communities. When you support our 2012 Annual Appeal, you're empowering hundreds of women in rural Niger to light the spark of change. As droughts and food costs increase, more men are leaving to find work - and more than ever, women are keeping their families and communities together.


Including RAIN in your year-end giving plans today can give a girl a chance at an education, a woman the chance to earn a livelihood, and better food security for all. Please contribute today!



 Red Donate Now

Donate online or send check to: 

PO Box 545
Newmarket NH
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In Tribute to Our Chair William Roderick Richards
We sadly report that our wonderful leader and Chair, Roderick Richards, died suddenly on November 16, 2011.

Roderick joined the Board two years ago.  His extensive executive experience overseas in developing countries and his gracious and generous nature made him a perfect Chairman for our Board.  His great spirit and leadership influenced us all, here and in Niger.   From L To R: Maghas Assaleck, El Hadji Ben Oumarou, Roderick and Mouhamed Gado "Badede." Agadez, April 2011

Last April, Roderick traveled to  Niger to meet our friends, staff, partners and government leaders.  His interest, concern and steadfast support for all he met was clearly evident to everyone.  the following communication was received from our Niger office shortly after his death: 

We cannot find the appropriate words to express our feeling or describe our deep sorrow for the loss of such a special and generous person who never hesitated to go the extra mile so many times to make our needy people happy in Niger.  

Early morning today, Halima distributed millet cakes to make alms to allow Roderick's soul to rest in peace.  This is a tradition here when a friend passes away. 
Friends and RAIN supporters can make tribute donations in memory of Roderick to our Annual Appeal, either via email or online.  Messages of support will be delivered to the family.  RAIN is dedicating our new website to Roderick to commemorate his passion for education and the tremendous talent he brought to our organization.  He is very sorely missed.

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RAIN and Goviex Partner to Revitalize Gougaram

For the first time in three years, Bess and RAIN staff were able to travel freely in the Air Massif.  In April, they visited the Tuareg community of Gougaram, where RAIN's programs began.  It was truly a joyous homecoming.  The joy of seeing so many friends was tempered by the awful circumstances they're living in.  Though there has been a peace truce for two years, the military remains ever present -- not in barracks, but in the village center, school and homes.  Every night at 6pm, residents are forced to leave their homes to spend the night in huts on the dry river bed.  
At left, Bess arrives in Gougaram.

We've found a partner in the mining company Goviex to revitalize Gougaram. Goviex, whose staff is all Nigerien, is committed to taking part in nomadic community development.  Together, we will rebuild the School Market Garden, assist other agricultural projects, support three artisan cooperatives, provide food to the school and offer literacy classes.  The people of Gougaram have suffered much; it shows in their drawn faces.  They are ready to rebuild their community and their lives. 
Gougaram is also the home of Rahma, a Tuareg musician, herder and dear friend of Bess.  A true nomad, Bess could not locate her and thought she would miss the chance to see her old friend.  Finally, she was found near a well outside the village, and after more than three years, Bess and Rahma were once again able to embrace and catch up.  Rahma sends her best wishes to all her friends in the U.S.  We are hopeful that 2012 will bring new life to Rahma and to all of Gougaram.
A Very Happy New Year from RAIN in U.S. and Niger!