Banner Yellow and Green

RAIN partners with nomadic and rural peoples in West Africa  
to improve their lives through education, water security, agriculture, 
and income-producing activities.


Fall 2012  

RAIN and Turtle Will Pay it Forward For Nomadic Students 
Turtle Will logo
NGO Turtle Will entrusts their Agadez dormitory program to RAIN. 
The 15-year-old Turtle Will, a respected nonprofit organization headed by Irma Turtle working in Ethiopia, Mali and Niger, is closing in 2013. 
RAIN is honored to take on Turtle Will's dormitory, scholarship and tutoring program in Agadez. The nomadic children living at the dormitory program would never, no matter how well they have done in school, have options in their home communities for continuing on to middle and high school level -- Niger's government-run school system offers only primary grades. The dormitory houses 34 Wodaabe and Tuareg students, chosen because they are the top students graduating from their rural nomadic schools.  The students are housed in a complex in the city of Agadez, where they attend nearby public schools.  They are provided with room and board, meals, scholarships, school supplies, and tutoring support. 
On-site classrooms provide space for tutoring sessions with teachers, as well as group study. We plan to build on the solid foundation created by Turtle Will in Agadez to include a garden program to teach agricultural skills and provide fresh vegetables for the students.  RAIN is seeing our first mentored students graduating primary school with great pride and hope. We now are able to assure them the possibility to continue that they have worked so hard to earn. 
Omara and Bess
RAIN and Niger Embassy Co-Host Washington Reception

On September 4th RAIN, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Niger, hosted Niger: A Country United in the Face of Turmoil, a presentation and informal discussion focusing on Niger and its place in the changing landscape of drought and turmoil in West Africa. Held at the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University, the reception featured Tuareg musician Omara Moctar (Bombino) and RAIN founder Bess Palmisciano. Niger Embassy representative Boubacar Rilla was also present. The reception followed a concert by Bombino and his group at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, where Hendrix-inspired hypnotic acoustic breezes and Saharan sonic sandstorms brought the audience to their feet.

Photos of Niger by Bess Palmisciano and Charter Weeks will be  
featured in the exhibit Africa is Not a Country 
at the Seacoast African American Cultural Center in Portsmouth, NH.   

For more info, visit

We're thrilled to welcome literacy specialist Brian Nowak as Program 

Brian NowakDirector in  Niger! Brian obtained a B.A in Anthropology from Boston University and an M.A in Education from Long Island University. His strong passion for Niger was first kindled as a BU exchange student. He has taught at the American International School in Niamey and for Boston University's Study Abroad Program in Niger, and has consulted for Red Cross and Red Crescent, International Relief and Development, Plan Niger, and OXFAM. Brian is working with RAIN's programs targeting adult literacy, gardening and nutrition, mentoring and animal husbandry.

Seiga Gets Help Through the Hunger Season  

Food Aid Arrives in Tillaberi Communities  

Thanks to your help, the village of Seiga and surrounding communities in the 
Tillaberi region of Niger will have access to subsidized grain to help them through the end of what's known as "the hungry season" as the entire country struggles through food scarcity. In Seiga, RAIN staff witnessed a community on the brink of starvation: children finding food wherever they could, high grain and bean prices leaving families in survival strategy mode - selling assets, rationing food, and living in a weakened state during the important three-month agricultural season.


In September, RAIN funded the delivery of millet and sorghum to stock a local adobe storage shed, turning it into a temporary cereal bank for the surrounding villages. A committee was formed with the local school director, PTA president and head of the RAIN mentoring group, and the grain sold for less than half the market value. In this regional market, there is no food for sale; RAIN's subsidized grains are a lifeline. The income generated from the grain sales will go to support the local school. The committee has been meeting daily in preparation for the start of the school year in October. Many of the children of the families who will be purchasing the grain at the subsidized price will also be benefiting from food at school purchased from the income generated.


The food is transported by foot, donkey and camel to homes in Seiga and surrounding communities. Reinforced by a new education awareness campaign led by a group of twenty RAIN mentors, the Seiga school expects to fill their first-year classroom for the first time in years. For pastoral communities like Seiga, new grass brings with it the hope of healthy animals and milk, motivating families to work even harder through the end of the season. The food support you've made possible during this uncertain time helps to keep families strong, increasing their ability to recover from the year of crisis. The people of Seiga expressly offer their deepest thanks for seeing them through.

Unleash the Girl Effect in Niger  
RAIN has been selected by The Girl Effect for an opportunity to become a partner by taking on The Girl Effect Challenge!
You can help us get there!  From Nov 1-30, make a donation to our Girls' Mentoring Project on, or just spread the word: ask five of your friends who are passionate about empowering girls to donate. Every donation counts, even just $10. A partnership with The Girl Effect means
significant support for our girls' mentoring program in 2013. 

RAIN + The Girl Effect = more girls in Niger succeeding

You've done so much to empower nomadic girls.  
Now help us unleash The Girl Effect!
Provide Hunger Relief 

Your inspiring response to our Hunger Relief for Nomads Campaign, along with the $1,300 kickoff donation from The Global Hunger Foundation,  has  brought RAIN to our goal of $10,000 to give remote herders in Niger a fighting chance to keep their livestock.  This joint effort has provided life saving animal feed and will help support school food programs in Gougaram and Seiga. You made it happen by answering  the call!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube