Young Nigeriens from rural areas rarely have the opportunity to attend middle school. Almost no one has a local middle schools in their village! Sending your child away to school is expensive and complicated. Parents worry about who will look after their children and how they will be able to eat. Since 2013, the Agadez Learning Center has given rural and nomadic students, like Maoude, a chance to go farther. Maoude grew up outside the village of Tagdoumt. Very few organizations reach his region and those who do work almost exclusively with another ethnic group, the Tuareg. Maoude’s opportunities were limited.
Fortunately, Maoude was one of the first students at the learning center and in 2016, after completing middle school, he continued onto high school through our partnership with the French organization, Grain de Sable.
Just 2% of Nigeriens complete high school and almost all of those who do are from urban areas. Already, his story was a success. But Maoude went on to do more.
This fall, Maoude began his freshman year at the University of Agadez where he is studying Biology and Environmental Studies. Maoude and his friend, Alabouri, also an ALC graduate, are the ONLY TWO Wodaabe Fulani students at the university. Without the ALC, they would not have made it there at all.
Now, Maoude, grateful for the education he has had, is looking to extend this opportunity to benefit others. Last month, Maoude joined RAIN staff for several recruitment trips to help other students from his region to access middle school and to increase representation of the Wodaabe Fulani community.
The communities were shocked to meet Maoude, someone who looked like them, wore their clothes, and spoke their language. They asked Maoude to come back every year. He was moved to see the community’s appreciation and was happy to see that parents were bought-into the work you are supporting.
In spite of his busy freshman year, Maoude has made time to visit the new recruits at the learning center. He wanted to help them settle in, convincing those who were homesick to give it a little more time, knowing from his own experience that the transition could be tough but that they would acclimate.
RAIN believes that closing the education gap is how we close the opportunity gap.
Maoude represents what can be achieved through your partnership. He is doing his part to ensure more bright minds have the opportunities they deserve – to explore, to grow, and eventually to give back.