As September approaches, children throughout the world are getting ready to return to school – but few are as excited to return as the students we work with – children who call the most remote regions of Niger their home.
School is a monumental commitment for desert nomadic kids and their families. Going to class means they aren’t able to help their parents forge a living in the dry and dusty pastureland south of the Sahara. It means mothers will have to haul water for cooking and cleaning from distant wells on their own. In some instances, it means children will have to walk for miles, unsupervised, to reach the adobe or reed-walled building where classes are held. For one group of rural middle school students, it means spending the academic year miles from home – the song of the desert wind traded for the noise of the city at our Agadez Learning Center.
Despite the sacrifices, this September will find this group of boys and girls attending school with smiles on their faces. Somehow, they know it’s worth it. Many share a deep commitment to education with their parents, who may never have gone to school and want a better life for their kids. They have support from RAIN mentors, specially trained educational champions who help kids stay in school despite the odds. They know that each additional year in school brings them closer to a better life: More options. Skills to share back home. Better health. Greater independence.
Please donate to our Back to School campaign and give these motivated kids the resources they need to pursue their dream of an education. For $2,000 ($200/month) a child of the desert can benefit from a full school year at the secondary level – an opportunity that would not exist without the Learning Center. The commitment is already there. Their families and communities are behind them. Your gift will make a direct positive impact on their future, that of their families, that of their children, and, ultimately, on Niger as a whole.
Our mission is to forge partnerships with underserved rural and nomadic desert peoples of Niger, and help them realize their ambitions for education and enduring livelihoods. Your generous support allows us to actively recruit children from remote villages who would otherwise have no access to formal education. Your support gives girls the chance to be the first ever in their community to graduate from elementary school. Your gift enables Niger’s motivated learners to join the 10% of girls and 15% of boys from the entire country who make it to secondary school. Without your help, the prospect of middle school – or beyond – is only a dream.
Niger’s kids want to go back to school next month. Few have the option. A new generation of learners determined to overcome poverty and hunger with education thanks you for believing in them!