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.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Providing Water, Sustaining Life

Yale Public Health Magazine, Spring 2016, Alumni Spotlight, p. 36-39. Read the full article here

The Spring 2016 edition of the Yale Public Health Magazine spotlights Yale alumni Ariane Kirtley, Amman Imman's founder and director. Ariane earned a bachelors degree in anthropology at Yale and an M.P.H. at the Yale School of Public Health in 2004. She first visited the Azawak as a Fulbright scholar in 2005, and went on to establish Amman Imman: Water is Life in 2006.  

From the article:
Ariane Kirtley grew up in remote villages across West Africa, including the Republic of Niger. The French-American daughter of National Geographic photojournalists, she bonded completely with the people in her villages.  
"I didn't have any friends who weren't African so to me, I was African," she said. Her unusual childhood included a best friend, Julia, a gorilla that was being rehabilitated in Gambia to be returned to the wild. It was only when Kirtley grew older that she recognized the many needs and challenges her African “family” faced, and she decided, “I wanted to grow up and help the people who had helped raise me.”
Read the full article, pages 36-39, here.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Amman Imman receives new grant to launch livestock program for women

A woman in Ebagueye receives two goats through our HERds program
Through a new grant from Dining for Women, Amman Imman is launching the Herds for Economic Resiliency Program”(HERds) for the community of Tangarwashane in the Azawak region of Niger,  The initiative contributes to a women’s financial autonomy, enabling them to raise healthier families and combat malnutrition. A long-term goal of the program is to help establish healthy-abundant herds that will provide enough income for the women to consistently access health care and provide school fees for all their children.  The program builds on two other HERds programs started by Amman Imman in the nearby communities of Couloubade and Ebagueye, which fostered a recipient women's financial independence.

"At the market everything is expensive. With money we can get from our animals, I can buy clothes, take my children to the hospital or buy medicines for them. And sometimes I can buy food for my family,” said Sadouan Alhassan. 

HERds offers the most vulnerable women in Tangarwashane a chance to become economically resilient by loaning participants a personal herd of two goats or one cow, providing readily-available nutritious fodder at low cost, free veterinary care, and training in best practice animal husbandry. Without an accessible method to bank money, livestock are the most reliable way for women to store cash” for future and/or emergency needs.  The program aims to help women raise healthier families, especially to combat chronic malnutrition among their children. 

"Raising animals is our tradition. It is what we know how to do.  It is our livelihood.   It always has been and it always will be,” said Raichatou Salah.

In the Azawak region, in particular Tangarwashane, populations traditionally depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Dwindling rainfall and desertification over the last 15 years, killed off livestock and left families in dire poverty. Without ready access to water, food, healthcare, or money, the populations struggle to survive. The Azawak is the least developed region in all of Niger, a country where one out of five children dies before age five—one of the highest rates of child mortality in the world.

 The women Amman Imman work with are traditionally pastoral nomads.  Livestock have been their wealth and security for centuries,” said Ariane Kirtley, Founder and Director of Amman Imman. All [the people] want help replenishing their livestock herds. Women who benefited from our HERds programs [in our other villages] say in the past they relied on their husbands for their security. They now are proud because they feel wealthier than their husbands and are able to provide for their families.”

HERds builds on Amman Imman’s ongoing development work in the Azawak, which began with drilling borehole wells—sustainable sources of water.  Amman Imman, as the sole organization committed to working in this region, saw a need to expand programs after the implementation of the boreholes in order to address the many imminent needs of the people.  Amman Imman now supports their communities through food security programs, income-generation projects, health, education, and women’s empowerment activities.

The HERds program in Tangarwashane will offer:
Livestock Loaning. In the first phase, 50 women receive two goats for a one-year term and 10 women receive one cow for a single gestation period, plus weaning time.
Fodder Bank. The program will assist in the establishment of a fodder bank and management committee to provide low-cost feed for livestock. The fodder bank management committee will be democratically elected by the women of Tangarwashane to set the price of and purchase fodder, and identify HERds program participants.
Best Practice Animal Husbandry Training. Training will be provided to livestock recipients and non-recipient women to ensure animal health and herd sustainability community wide.
Free veterinary care to keep participant animals healthy.
Prior to loaning animals, our staff will tag livestock and a veterinarian will administer deworming, vaccinations and conduct a health check.  A veterinarian will also do periodic animal health checks when deemed necessary.  At the end of the loaning term, the mothers are given to another group of beneficiaries. However, any offspring produced during the loaned period become property of the women to start their own herd.  Should our primary livestock become unfit for the program, they will be retired, offered for sale, and funds used to repurchase new mothers.

Income personally earned from the livestock, generally from the production of milk and butter or selling of animals, in particular male offspring, will provide women with income to purchase food, clothes, medicine, and pay for their children’s school materials.  Most importantly, women will be active contributors to their own financial well-being, greatly reducing their vulnerability when their husbands migrate.

Watch this video to learn more about the HERds program and how the women of Tangarwashane will benefit:


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Building Bridges of Peace and Friendship

Thanks to your help, over the past ten years, we have brought water to over 100,000. We’ve helped thousands of families eat three meals a day (topped with vitamin-filled vegetables :-)), and hundreds of children attend school. And thanks to you we have built bridges of friendship and understanding so crucial in today’s world. 

Wishing you and your family a joyous and peaceful New Year! 
Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to Amman Imman: www.ammanimman.org/donate
Building bridges of friendship
Your donation is tax-deductible: www.ammanimman.org/donate

Friday, December 18, 2015

Give the Gift of Health

Dear Friends and Devoted Supporters,

Amman Imman continued to build resiliency among our communities in 2015, with a special focus on food security, revenue generation, and health projects. We are particularly proud of our new health extensions program, which currently serves 13,000 people.




We would like to grow our health program in 2016 by providing additional treatment and hiring additional qualified staff to increase our prevention campaigns. We will focus most especially on nutrition education to prevent malnutrition and curb anemia. We plan on extending our reach to an additional 10,000 people and increase our impact by over 25%. You can help!

We thank you for your continued support as we ramp up our operations to help more people in 2016!
 
With wishes of love and peace, and gratitude,
Ariane, the entire Amman Imman team and our Azawak communities




Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Please support Amman Imman on #GivingTuesday


Help us make the next 10 years even better. 

Donate Today Here



Thank you for believing in our mission to serve the world’s most vulnerable.


We’ve helped thousands of families in Niger’s Azawak region eat three meals a day (topped with vitamin-filled vegetables!), and hundreds of children attend school. And thanks to you we have built bridges of friendship and understanding so crucial in today’s world.
While ignorance and hatred grows around the globe today, your compassion has been an essential message of peace between worlds that would otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet, understand and care for one another.




Your donation will support water and food security, health projects, and education initiatives in the Azawak. 

Please....Support Amman Imman.


Mothers and fathers in the Azawak know that it is thanks to the compassion of mothers and fathers like them in the West that they have food to feed their children. Thanks to our Wells of Love students, children in the Azawak know that young people in the West believe in their future and want them to succeed.


We thank you, our donors, our students, our volunteers, and our communities, for allowing us to be a vector for humanity.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Amman Imman Villages: Join the Journey



Written by our volunteer: Alicia Russo

Have you heard the saying that someone was “in the right place at the right time”? Well, in simple terms, that is exactly how Amman Imman: Water is Life (AI) began. The story of the organization’s founding is truly inspiring, and the impact that it has had globally since its inception is remarkable.

It has been quite a journey to say the least, and we want to share it with you. None of our work would be possible without the support of our followers. So we hope you will join us as we embark on a special blog series, where we will dive into deep discussions revealing the unique cultures of our African communities and the advances made in each community thus far.

To our consistent followers, we hope that by tuning into this blog series you will feel even more connected with our communities and projects than you do at this very moment. To those of you just joining our efforts, prepare yourselves for what we know will be a heartfelt and inspiring ride. It is our hope that all of you will find encouragement through this series, and that you are reminded of the incredible difference your support is making in the lives of AI’s African communities.

Please join us on the last Wednesday of every month from now until Spring 2016 as we uncover the complete story of Amman Imman’s journey as a humanitarian nonprofit organization. As aforementioned, in each blog post we’ll be exploring AI’s African communities individually, telling stories of the locals that have been shared with us during our time in the field. We’ll cover success stories and explain advancements made in each community, as well as outline what is to be expected in the future. At the end of each post we’ll highlight what the upcoming post will cover, as is done below.

With such diversity across our communities, and so many ongoing projects, this blog series is a big task, but we’re happy to tackle this challenge for you, our dedicated supporters. It is because of you that over 100,000 lives have been saved in the Azawak. Imagine what the future will hold. So please join us in our celebration of what has already happened and what is to come.

We will jump start this series in this post by briefly describing the founding of Amman Imman: Water is Life, for those who are unfamiliar with the story. After all, it is only proper to start a journey at its beginning.

Amman Imman was founded in 2006 by Ariane Kirtley, a young scholar at the time. Ariane happened to be in the right place at exactly the right time. That place was West Africa, where she was conducting research for her Fulbright. Her research assistant was from the Azawak region – a region completely unfamiliar to Ariane at the time - and he begged Ariane to visit his community to see the devastating water crisis his people were facing.

While she received an honored greeting, she was appalled not only by the obvious water crisis, but also the extremely poor living conditions and intense lack of health care throughout the region. Ariane was distraught, and downright worried about the future of these communities and their rich cultures. Sadly, mortality was commonplace in this region. Ariane’s mindset was, and always has been, if a culture is allowed to disappear through neglect or oppression, humanity will lose an irreplaceable treasure. And so Amman Imman was born, and our team has worked tirelessly to empower and preserve Africa’s vulnerable indigenous peoples. Over the years, AI has flourished, and Ariane has grown from a young scholar to one of the world’s top humanitarians. You can learn more about Ariane and AI’s creation here.

Initially serving only one community with the construction of a single borehole, Amman Imman has built five boreholes in the Azawak plains of Niger, providing a safe and secure water source to five communities, as well as nomads from outlier regions. The five communities benefiting directly from AI’s work are Tangarwashane, Tchinwangari, Kijigari, Ebagueye, and Couloubade. Amman Imman has a vision to expand into more communities and help all 500,000 people in the Azawak. It is only with your help that this will be possible.




One of the most meaningful facets of Amman Imman’s work is that it is literally preserving the rich cultures found in the African communities that it works with. Two cultures dominate AI’s African communities – Tuareg and Wodaabe Fulani. Amongst the roughly 7.3 billion people that walk the earth today, there are estimated to be only about six million Fulani peoples and one million Tuareg peoples. Considering this, AI’s dedication to saving the lives of the over half a million Tuareg and Fulani peoples in the Azawak is truly a necessary commitment.

Tune in on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 to learn more about the Tuareg and Fulani cultures. We’ll share details about specific cultural traditions, fascinating rites of passage, captivating folklore, and more.

Friday, May 22, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: 9th Annual “A Walk for Water” Draws Newly-Named Nigerien Ambassador

For Immediate Release   
Media Contact: Debra Kahn, Debbie@ammanimman.org, 240-418-1143, www.ammanimman.org, photos here.
           
9th Annual “A Walk for Water” Draws Newly-Named Nigerien Ambassador
~ A Walk for Water Engages Youth as Global Leaders ~

Silver Spring, MD – The new Ambassador of Niger, Her Excellency Professor Hassana Alidou
(l-r) Mr. Rilla, Alphadi, Lucy Billings, Hadesh Walet, Kamel Zennia,
 Her Excellency Ambassador Alidou, Ariane Kirtley, Debra Kahn
marked history by attending a grassroots event with American students and families. “A Walk for Water” on May 16, 2015 was one of Her Excellency’s first public appearances since she established her office the week prior at the Nigerien embassy in Washington DC. Alphadi, famous Nigerien fashion designer known as the “Magician of the Desert”, accompanied Her Excellency. The event raises funds to benefit Niger’s most vulnerable populations. It links students of the global north and the global south, offering a hand of friendship to Muslim populations in danger of falling under the influence of extremists.

Getting ready to Walk for Water!
Attended by about 200 people, “A Walk for Water” was co-sponsored by nonprofit Amman Imman and the John F. Kennedy HS in Silver Spring, Maryland. Amman Imman: Water is Life, based in Silver Spring, hosts Walk for Water events annually in collaboration with the many schools with which it partners. The grassroots organization is one of the only humanitarian groups working in the Azawak Valley, a region the size of Florida that straddles Mali and Niger.  For the past decade, a severe and lengthening drought, extreme poverty, and growing insecurity has continued to erode communities in the Azawak, one of West Africa’s most inaccessible and impoverished regions.

Our special guests enjoy the nomad tent
The 5K Walk events symbolize the long journeys—up to 35 miles daily for some—that many children in the Azawak have had to take to find water for their families. Since 2006, Amman Imman has drilled five sustainable sources of clean water called borehole wells in Niger. The organization also works with villages to lead other essential development activities, such as setting up cereal banks and community gardens, managing vaccination campaigns, distributing mosquito nets, providing school supplies, building community stores, and offering food aid and training in a variety of relevant income-generating skills especially focused on empowering women.

This 9th edition of “A Walk for Water” was framed by an African cultural festival with live music
Tuareg Tea
from 
Africa and hands-on activities. Participants had the unique experience of visiting a nomad’s tent and sipping Tuareg tea. They heard the sound of the tende, a traditional Tuareg drum played by women. Children wrote their names in the ancient alphabet of Tiffinagh and made friendship bracelets for the children of the Azawak. Festival go-ers visited the marketplace where regional artisan’s jewelry and crafts were sold.

Ambassador Alidou emphasized the students’ impact, “For us it is an honor to be with you again celebrating another year of solidarity with the people of Niger. Water is about life. So you can imagine what you give to so many people through the work that Amman Imman does in Niger. Each time that you see youth reaching out to other youth…it is very, very powerful -- we know that peace is going to sink in across the rivers, across the desert, and across the ocean.”

Ariane Kirtley, Amman Imman’s founder and director, in the United States directly from Niger, also
Ariane, Debbie and students
attended the event as the keynote speaker. Ms. Kirtley encouraged the students to continue developing their compassion and leadership because the word needs them: “You are powerful…Not only do you save lives, you also bring peace….Children in the Azawak understand that students in America care about them.  And that’s a huge powerful message in this time when extremism undermines the security of so many nations.”   

Although Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett who was scheduled to attend the event could not be there, his proclamation declaring May 16 “A Walk for Water Day” in Montgomery County was read. “I urge our residents to learn about the suffering caused by water scarcity and the efforts to alleviate that condition,” proclaimed Mr. Leggett.


Musicians Kamel Zennia from Algeria and Hadesh Walet from Mali shared their music.
Playing the tende
Poet/educator Andrew Kutt sang his hit, “May the Water Flow” written for the people of the Azawak. Singer/songwriter Lucy Billings traveled from Tennessee to sing “Carry the Water”, highlighting the plight of women and girls worldwide. Ghanian Michael Kweku Owusu of Drumming Up From Poverty lead a drum circle. Other partners included the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.


On "A Walk for Water"

Hadesh Walet sings a song
for the Azawak

 
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