Mission and Vision

Amman Imman's is dedicated to empowering and preserving Africa's most vulnerable indigenous peoples and engaging school children worldwide as socially conscious leaders.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

International Humanitarian Ariane Kirtley in USA, April - June

Ariane Kirtley, Hero to Thousands, to Visit DC

Beginning on April 10, 2015, well-known international humanitarian Ariane Kirtley will be available in the USA for interviews or feature stories in all media. She arrives in the Washington DC area just back from Niger, the poorest nation on Earth, and also a theater of regional struggle against the rise of Islamist radicalization.

The topics she can cover include: African development, combating extremism, climate change, water, Boko Haram, roles of women in the Sahel, women’s entrepreneurship, choosing the humanitarian lifestyle, educating American schoolchildren about other cultures, and leading an international NGO.

For almost a decade Ariane, mother of two young sons, has worked against great odds, including the threat of terrorism, to save lives among one of the most vulnerable minorities in Africa – a half million Tuareg and Wodaabe nomads who have no water most of the year due to unremitting drought. This is in the Florida-sized Azawak, the most abandoned region of Niger and of the Sahel.

Her work there focuses in large part on empowering women and bringing stability to children. Before Ariane arrived in the Azawak, children walked 20 miles to find water. Now they go to schools and health clinics built near permanent water sources she and her team have created. In America she built a network of more than 135 schools that participate in yearlong outreach programs to Azawak children.

Actress-activist Mia Farrow calls Ariane “a remarkable young woman” for her work with Amman Imman: Water is Life, the American organization Ariane founded and runs in Africa (recently named “Top 500 NGO”). Learn more about Amman Imman's mission and accomplishments on the website.
Click to watch a video showing children thanking Ariane

To meet or skype with Ariane Kirtley in April or May, please write her at ariane@ammanimman.org, or call Debbie Kahn at (240) 418-1143

More about Ariane Kirtley
Hailing from Kentucky and raised in Africa, Ariane received both her B.A. (’01 Anthropology) and Masters (’04 Public Health) from Yale University. Despite a plethora of career opportunities, her life reached a tipping point. Friends in Niger desperately begged her to visit the Azawak, saying people there were dying of thirst. Devastated by the conditions she found, she sought the help of major NGOs – who said they had other priorities. Ariane decided not to turn her back on her new friends in the Azawak; she would dedicate her life to them, and bring them water from unlimited supplies deep underground.

In 2006 she founded Amman Imman to keep her promise. Working far from civilization in suffocating Saharan heat, facing persistent health risks and dangers from regional unrest, she and her team do work typically carried out by governments. Since 2007 they have built 5 deep borehole wells, saved thousands of lives, and brought a fragile stability to an area that could otherwise become prey to extremist rhetoric.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Amman Imman's Charter of Values

We submit this charter as the standard of integrity upon which we do our work. This testament affirms our commitment to the populations we serve, and our pledge as humanitarians dedicated to building a future of hope for our planet.  

Respect and acceptance of the other, and honoring our differences as assets

Empathy, compassion, and solidarity toward those we serve

Humility, selflessness, and service leadership: placing others above self while we work for the good of others rather than personal advancement

Deep respect for human rights, equity, and justice

Teamwork, recognizing that all levels of our organization -- from management and staff to donors, to partners and beneficiaries -- compose a tightly-knit community

Excellence, quality, professionalism, innovation, pragmatism, and adaptability to ascertain positive impact and sustainability

Passion and commitment for our work and the people we serve

Transparency, integrity, morality, accountability and honesty as a guiding force

Perseverance and endurance, despite challenging and sometimes dangerous circumstances

Limiting our influence on the environment and the earth's resources, both in the office and in the field

Wise, careful, and conscientious use of financial resources

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tanamert wooley! Thank you very much!

Please consider making an end-of-year tax-deductible gift to Amman Imman 
Tree planted in 2012 grows in Ebagueye

Here are some examples of how your donations help:

$10 = one tree 

$25 = two mosquito nets for a family 

$50 = school supplies for a child

$100 = craft supplies for a woman  

$250 = gardening tools for a family 

$500 = two goats to start a herd for a woman 

$1000 = one cow to supply milk to a family

Women receiving their goats 

Please send in your funds through our website or mail us a check:

Amman Imman

914 Robin Road, 

Silver Spring, MD 20901

Dear Friends and Devoted Supporters,

As 2014 draws to a close, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season, and send you a message from our Azawak communities:

Tanamert wooley!  Thank you very much! 

We could not continue helping the children and families in the Azawak without your support and precious contributions.  You cannot imagine how grateful our Amman Imman team and communities are for your love and compassion. Contributions like yours have helped us enjoy a fulfilling year in the Azawak, where we continue to witness our communities grow and prosper thanks to ongoing projects, and various new activities. 

Filling empty bellies
At the beginning of the year, many of our families cried out for help to feed their children. While their borehole provides them with plentiful water, grain prices continue to skyrocket due to perpetual and ongoing drought. Hunger has become a primary cause of desperation. We helped as we could by providing affordable grain to the poorest. Thanks to the Tangarwashane, Couloubade, and Ebagueye cereal banks, children went to school bellies filled, and eager to use their new school books in their new school room provided by Amman Imman. Profits from the cereal bank are used to purchase additional grain, to counter the cycle of hunger.

Empowering women
With happier and healthier children, women could focus on other activities. For instance, women felt empowered by our various skills training programs, including sewing, management training, and literacy and counting. Many of our most vulnerable women felt much more financially secure thanks to our goat project, the artisan cooperative, and new jobs provided by the boutique, fodder and cereal banks.

Developing communities
Our boreholes continue to provide amazing relief, where children are generally much healthier, and everyone has more time to work, go to school, and enjoy a higher quality of life. We are training several young men from our communities over two years to become professional borehole mechanics. Our goal is to not only help improve the skills of men and women, but also to increase the autonomy of our communities as they become their own experts. 

Protection from malaria
Our mosquito net project was very popular. In Ebagueye alone, parents reported a significant decrease in malaria related illness. Whereas in previous years, the village chief traveled to Abalak almost daily during the rainy season to take children for emergency care to the clinic, this year he only made occasional trips to the clinic, as malaria-related sickness dropped considerably. 

Working towards resiliency
Our communities are extraordinarily grateful for all our projects, including gardening, latrines, mosquito nets, boutiques, grain mills, and more. While there is still a lot of work to be done, our activities bring them one step closer to vibrancy and resiliency, and changes their lives for the better.

Plans for 2015
We are excited to launch the New Year with our new nomadic heath clinic for all our communities, and we hope to build a borehole in a new community before the end of 2015. We want to increase our work with children in the Azawak and students around the world, as we recognize their tremendous potential as the true long-term change makers for the Azawak. We’ll be excited to keep sharing our progress with you throughout next year!

With wishes of love and peace, and extreme gratitude, 

Ariane, the entire Amman Imman team, and our Azawak communities

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why you Should Donate to Smaller Non-Profits on #GivingTuesday

by Tina Burchette, Volunteer Blog Writer for Amman Imman: Water is Life

With all of the negative things going on in the world as of late, this holiday season is a perfect time to focus on the good. #GivingTuesday comes right on the heels of Thanksgiving and its subsequent consumer-based holidays, and I hope that everyone gives a donation, no matter how small, to an organization that does something great for the world.
I want to give a shout out to smaller non-profits for all of the work that they do. If you were to ask any person on the street to list a few of the non-profits they are aware of, these non-profits probably wouldn’t be on their list. However, we cannot ignore the fact that these organizations do necessary and selfless things for the world, regardless of their size and scope.

The inevitable fact is that no matter how big or how well-known a non-profit may be, it cannot do everything. It cannot save everyone. It may have a hefty and inspiring mission statement, but there are some things that they cannot and will not do. That is why I am choosing to donate money to the small non-profit that I volunteer with as a blog writer, Amman Imman: Water is Life.

When Ariane Kirtley, our founder, was doing research in West Africa, she was made aware
of a devastating situation. There is a region called the Azawak, situated in both Niger and Mali, that is so water-deprived that the inhabitants had to walk up to 30 miles every day just to find water, many times not finding any. Global warming has also taken its toll on the region, making the rainy season shorter than it has ever been before. Not to mention, any water available to the people of the Azawak was severely contaminated. However, there is a significantly-sized aquifer underneath the region that is able to provide a clean and permanent water source to these peoples. Ariane knew that this issue was the responsibility of developmental organizations and the government, so she reached out and asked for help.

These organizations, the ones that any person could list off if they were asked what non-
profits they knew about, were unable to provide assistance. They said the area was too poor and remote, that there was no infrastructure, that it was too dangerous. This is not to say that these organizations should be scorned or that what they can do is any less deserving of our awe and respect. It is simply a matter of fact that no organization can do it all. So Ariane founded Amman Imman, and our focus is specifically in the Azawak region. We have constructed a several boreholes, and we have remained in the area to provide programs that lead to stability in health, education, and food levels. We have built personal relationships with the people we help. The people of the Azawak are receiving the time and dedication of Amman Imman that could not have been provided for them by a bigger non-profit.

Perhaps one of the inspiring parts about Amman Imman is that many of our donors and fundraisers are young children. The education that we provide works both ways: we educate the people of the Azawak in the ways they can sustain themselves, and we educate the more fortunate to become what we call “heroes of compassion.” We are teaching values that we believe will result in a more global society, while also inspiring young people to reach out and help their brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than themselves. Although our non-profit is small, I couldn’t be any prouder to volunteer for them. I know my small part is relief to them, because it allows the more central members to focus on the more imperative tasks in order to achieve our mission.
Annual "A Walk for Water" engages students as
Heroes of Compassion who reach out and help.

So I ask all givers to really reflect upon which organizations they will be donating to on #GivingTuesday, and hopefully for the rest of their lives. We should absolutely support big non-profits that we know make a large difference, but we should also think of the little guys. They take on the tasks that nobody can, and they focus on that task until they can bring it to fruition. It doesn’t matter if they are providing water to poverty-stricken people of Africa, or simply building wheelchairs for those who can’t afford to buy one. Their smaller task is just as important as the larger tasks that are already receiving significant funding, and they need our support. Find a non-profit that aims to do something you can really get behind, and donate. Your donation will go a long way.

To learn more about Amman Imman: Water is Life visit here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

#GivingTuesday and Giving Back to Improve Lives

Dear Friends of the Azawak,
We hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love and gratitude. As the holiday shopping
Ebagueye women wait to have their grain
pounded into flour at their grain mill.
season begins, please join Amman Imman and #GivingTuesday, a world-wide movement that celebrates generosity and giving back. It culminates with a global day of giving on December 2, 2014 that coincides with the Thanksgiving Holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season.

As you consider joining the movement by contributing to our work in the Azawak, I want to continue sharing all the life enhancing activities that we accomplished this past year with you.

Along with helping to supply affordable food and grow skills through vocational training, we strived to help improve the lives of the men, children and women in various other ways, as well as increase their job opportunities and revenue.  

Grain Mills to Facilitate Food Preparation
The Ebagueye miller has been trained to use the machines.
Income is divided into three: the miller makes
a third of the profits, a third goes into maintenance,
and the rest goes to support the women's cooperative.
Women and girls in particular rejoiced upon the arrival of the Ebagueye and Couloubade grain mills, which transform grain into flour. The women and girls used to spend over two and a half hours pounding their grain every single day! Now, all they have to do is take their grain to the miller, and in less than a half hour, they can prepare a nice meal for their entire family. The miller himself is also proud to have a paying job for the first time, as he makes a profit selling his services.  

Couloubade Community Store
Gotchi and Tonguindo are Couloubade's
Boutique managers. They enjoy
earning a small income from
boutique profits.

Similar to the community store we built in Ebagueye last year, we built Couloubade a community store. Parents are relieved to be able to purchase shoes, cloth, sugar, pasta, matches and other items nearby rather than walking over ten miles round-trip for such goods. The two women that run the boutique are excited to make $20 a month each, as they increase their economic autonomy. The boutique in Ebagueye is growing, and the boutique managers have set aside money to build an extension to provide additional goods.

Ebagueye Gardens
The children and women of Ebagueye were excited to learn how to garden with Adam, our professional gardener from the Kijigari borehole community. They have begun growing potatoes, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon, and other seasonal vegetables. We also planted mango, papaya, and other fruit bearing trees, including a fruit called the “desert apple” in all our communities.

Adam, the president of our Kijigari borehole Management Committee,
teaches gardening to men, women, and children
in our other borehole communities. Here he is showing off
 a "desert apple" tree that he planted a few years ago.
In my next installment, I’ll tell you about our women’s livestock project in Ebagueye and Couloubade, which has had a tremendous impact on the economic security of our women!  

Warm thoughts and best wishes this holiday season!! Again, please do join us for #GivingTuesday!!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Building Skills to Build Lives, Thankfully!

Dear Friends of the Azawak,

We are grateful for your support!
30 women and several men became
members of our Ebagueye sewing cooperative.
After two weeks of training, teacher and students  
show some newly-made garments.
Hundreds of men and women are learning
to read, count and manage their projects.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we would like to send a special thank you for your ongoing support. We are so grateful to you, and the inspiration you offer as we work tirelessly for our communities in the Azawak. We also give thanks to those of you who have joined our Solidarity Challenge Campaign. The Challenge is still going on, and you can still participate! Click here to learn more.
I wanted to tell you more about our newest skill building and vocational training projects, as we strive to bring sustainable vibrancy to our communities. Amman Imman has a multilayered approach for tackling the extreme poverty of the people we help. While we first address their most basic needs, we also work to improve their economic growth and autonomy. To help meet this goal, we provide skills training in various domains. The men and women of our communities are talented and eager to learn.  

In Ebagueye we launched a sewing cooperative for the women. Over thirty women (and two men, because they were so enthusiastic about the project) joined, and are now learning how to make clothes, pillow cases, and all sorts of textiles for their families.
In Couloubade, we are offering literacy courses to teach the men and women how to read and count so that they can be even more successful conducting and managing their various activities. The borehole management committee members and the boutique managers hardly miss a class!  Counting skills have been especially beneficial to the women that sell their medicines in Nigeria and Chad.  They better understand the value of their work, and have learned to identify when people attempt to rip them off!  
We are also training a few men from the communities to become professional mechanics, with yearlong courses and hands-on experience in Niamey. Like this, community members themselves will be borehole mechanics experts.  Not only will they be able to maintain our boreholes on an ongoing basis, but they can be hired as professional vehicle and borehole mechanics elsewhere.
In our next installment, I’ll tell you how we’ve been helping with grain mills, gardens, and more…
Sincerely yours,

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