Mission and Vision

Amman Imman's mission is to empower the world's most underserved and vulnerable indigenous populations by addressing their most essential needs. Serving as a conduit between these populations and the western world, Amman Imman also raises awareness and engages individuals of all ages to take action.

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,
Ariane


Monday, October 6, 2014

Helping our Azawak communities fill empty bellies



With a cereal bank started in Couloubade, this mother will have grain to feed her child.

Since last year, people in Ebagueye have had a steady supply of grain at an affordable price through their cereal bank. 
Dear Friends of the Azawak,

We are so grateful to the many of you who responded to our last update. We received generous donations, several tweets, likes, and shares on social media, and numerous messages of encouragement. Thank you for being an ongoing inspiration!
Solidarity Challenge!
I want to invite you to participate in our second Solidarity Challenge Campaign, that begins on October 27th and continues through the month of November. Do something fun to raise awareness and or funds, and directly help save and improve the lives of our friends in Niger. Stay tuned for details!
Cereal Banks to Relieve Hunger
Hunger is a primary cause of sickness and desperation faced by the children and the families that we help. Initally, and perhaps naively, we thought that if they had water, they would be able to feed themselves. While this is not entirely untrue, we underestimated the sheer poverty of our communities. Water is not yet enough to combat the unremitting lack of access to food.
This reality hit me hard when I heard that “our” children were going days without eating. Our women were desperate. Persistent drought throughout the Western Sahara sub region meant that millet and rice prices have soared at four times their normal price. Our people might have water to drink and to grow small gardens at different times of the year, but this is not yet enough to feed them enough on a continual and reliable basis.
Thanks to the cereal bank we built last year in Ebagueye, we saw promising results for combatting malnutrition and hunger in the community. Even nurses in Abalak have noted that children from Ebagueye are healther in general than children from other villages thanks to their clean water and access to enough food.

Wanting to replicate our Ebagueye results, we built cereal banks for the communities of Tangarwashane and Couloubade. Like the Ebagueye cereal bank, these banks are managed by a woman-run management committee. The committee sells the grain -- which we have provided -- for a much cheaper price than it is found on the market. The profits are used to pay the bank manager a small stipend, and to purchase additional grain. So even though it’s always a challenge for our populations to pay for food, at least in these communities they can rely on a steady supply of affordable grain. We are thrilled to see that past empty bellies are being filled and that our children are growing thanks to proper nourishment!
Thank you for continuing to support our work with your contributions, social network sharing, and overall feedback.
Sincerely yours, 
Ariane
Alhassan and Sadouan from Tangarwashane are relieved to have 
affordable millet to feed their children.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Their indomitable spirit endures

Dear Friends of the Azawak,

It has been quite a while since I've shared an update with you, and I'm excited to let you know that Amman Imman has enjoyed a fruitful year accomplishing numerous impactful projects in our borehole communities.

Artisan Gochi Korichi from Couloubade
 making traditional embroidered clothing.
In spite of their hardship, the people
of the Azawak have an indomitable spirit.
While most have met with great success, a few have suffered from the devastating consequences of recent violent storms, including high winds and flash floods -- which have caused great damage across Niger as well as in our communities. In our villages alone, these storms destroyed over 100 homes and killed thousands of animals.

As always, our villagers maintain a positive outlook despite the hardship they endure. Their response has been “Thanks be to God, no one was killed. Only the material has been lost.”

We hope to help them rebuild their villages. Your donation today will go towards these efforts! In the upcoming weeks, I will be sending you a series of updates to tell you more about our activities, which include food help, education support, vocational training, livestock projects, and more.

I also wanted to share the inspiring story of Christina Lange, who is raising money and awareness for Amman Imman during her bike trek across America with her friend Marcus. You can visit their blog, A Vagabond's Itinerary, like the Facebook page about their journey and contribute on Christina's fundraising page. Go Christina!

Yours for the Azawak,

Ariane

Monday, July 14, 2014

Journey Across the United States with Christina Lange and Amman Imman


UPDATE: September 12, 2014 -- Christina and Marcus are in Montana, cycling in Glacier National Park. 
Click here to read their blog and stay in touch with their adventures! 
Christina is fundraising for Amman Imman. Click here to donate!
Join them on A Vagabond's Itinerary on Facebook here!

Amman Imman and Christina Lange are partnering up for a 9,000 mile cross-country bike trip, during which this seasoned photographer will fundraise throughout her journey.


Christina Lange has always had a love of bicycling, and after meeting fellow enthusiast Marcus Peck during a convention in 2014, they decided to attempt an epic, yet challenging adventure--to bike across the United States.


Christina explains the trip:


We will meet again on the 2nd of July and set off into the wind on the 3rd...Leaving from Bakersfield, we will head first North to Missoula, then East to Boston, South to Washington DC and back West probably via Florida, Texas and Utah. This will be a journey we expect to last 6-8 months.”

Christina brings her photography prowess and Marcus comes with a writing background.  Between the two of them their journey will be well documented -- telling a slow, purposeful story as they each find meaning in the miles they pass by.


The pair have also taken on charities, which they will donate half of the money they fundraise to. We are extremely honored to announce Christina has chosen Amman Imman as one of those charities.


This isn’t the first interest she has shown in AI, either. Christina had the opportunity to meet Michael, our founder Ariane’s father, back in 2009. After learning about AI’s mission, she had wanted to do a photo documentary of the work we were doing and the region; however, she did not have the good fortune of securing a grant. With her new endeavor, Christina once again reached out to us, and we are so excited about her support.


AI will be following along Christina’s journey, and we hope that all you will, too. As the miles, days, and months go by, this long journey will show the world just how much one step, and one person can do.


Please support Christina and Amman Imman by donating here.


Follow the adventures of Christina and Marcus on their blog, 
Cycling across the country and back again, 9000 miles, coast to coast to coast

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Join Amman Imman at the Reel Water Film Festival on June 14!


Join Amman Imman on Saturday, June 14th at the historic Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club in Bethesda, Maryland for the 3rd annual Reel Water Film Festival

This nonprofit event will kick off with an "Afternoon Splash," showing short films that have been submitted from all over the world, and take you on a journey exploring the many ways that water shapes our lives. Join in lively discussions and Q&A's with filmmakers, and then visit supporter organization tables (including Amman Imman) in the lobby to learn more about how you can get involved in the conversation. 

In the evening, the festival will host a "Dinner and a Movie" with the award-winning documentary by Patagonia, DamNation. The night will include a delicious taco bar buffet, a cash bar, and a Q&A about the film. Tickets and program information are available on the festival website here.

All proceeds will directly benefit the mission of the Reel Water Film Festival, which is a nonprofit that uses film to start the conversation about the world's water issues. After the festival, at least half of the funds raised will be donated to a rainwater harvesting project in Kabale, Uganda, and to education projects around water sustainability in our local community. 

Learn more at www.reelwaterfilmfest.org.

Friday, May 9, 2014

You won't believe what's happening at A Walk for Water 2014!

It’s almost time…just one day until A Walk for Water 2014!  

I'm so excited!


Saturday, May 10, 10:30 a.m. at the Locust Grove Nature Center, 7777 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD

Online registration available until noon on May 9 ($12/student, $15/adult, $48 group of 4). 

On-site registration opens at 10:15 a.m. on May 10($15/student, $18/adult, $60 group of 4).

The fee is a donation. Everyone will be admitted regardless of ability to pay. Children under six admitted free.

Students can receive up to 4 hours of SSL credit for attending the event.

Please read the Event Day Information and Guidelines for directions and important details. 

Here's a pdf version for convenience.












Part of me wants to keep our plans for A Walk for Water a surprise. On the other hand if I don’t tell you maybe you’ll think, “I already did that walk last year” or “Sounds like nothing special”.  But let me tell you, A Walk for Water 2014 is nothing like you’ve done before, and it's going to be very special! 

I can’t help it — I have to tell you what will be there because I don’t want you to miss it!!

When you arrive, you will receive your “Passport to the Azawak”. You will enter our “Azawak” where you will visit a nomad’s tent. You’ll watch the beautiful practice of making Tuareg tea, and try some, too.   

Your children will make a beaded bracelet for themselves, and a second one for a child in the Azawak at our Friendship Exchange. You can both practice writing in the ancient language of Tifinagh

You and your family can try on traditional clothing, learn how to wrap a Tagelmust (“What’s that?!” you might ask. Come and find out!), and get your photo taken as if you are a nomad family in the Azawak.
  
When you visit the marketplace you will feast your eyes on beautiful jewelry and leather crafts made by artisans in Amman Imman’s villages. Buy a beautiful hand-dyed scarf for mom for Mother’s Day!

You can try to carry water and get a sense of what it might be like for a child who must haul water everyday. You will learn about water scarcity and climate change through the people that Amman Imman serves, and discover how lives are transformed when water is made abundant and clean.

Have lunch with us! You’ll enjoy traditional homemade African food! We'll also have chips/dips from Cava Grill, mini burritos from Boloco, subs from Subway, healthy snacks from My Organic Market -- all of which you can purchase to support Amman Imman.

We will introduce you to the global and local work of our amazing partners: Oneness-Family School, Dog Meets World, Reel Water Film Festival, Drumming Up from Poverty and the Compost Crew. You'll hear the West African sounds of Kamel Zennia, Hadesh Walet and Michael Kweku Owusu.

There’s no scarcity of fun at A Walk for Water 2014.  We'll have a banquet of activities waiting for you on Saturday morning starting at 10:30 am. You don’t want to miss it! 
Wear your mud boots for the trail!  It’s happening rain or shine under 10 tents at the Locust Grove Nature Center.  See you there!!

Be sure to read the Event Day Information and Guidelines for important information, or download this pdf.  

Yours, for the Azawak,
Debbie

Friday, May 2, 2014

Annual ‘Walk for Water’ Brings Drought-Stricken Communities in West Africa to Life

For Immediate Release:         
Annual ‘Walk for Water’ Brings Drought-Stricken Communities in West Africa to Life

WASHINGTON, DC, May 1, 2014—For the past decade, a severe and lengthening drought, extreme poverty, and growing insecurity has continued to erode communities in one of West Africa’s most inaccessible and impoverished regions: the Azawak Valley. Although most people in the United States—and around the world—have never heard of the Azawak, a growing group of students and individuals from the Washington, DC area has been gathering annually since 2007 to participate in symbolic ‘Walk for Water’ events that have raised funds and awareness to directly assist families in the Azawak. 

The nonprofit organization Amman Imman: Water is Life, based in Bethesda, Maryland, hosts the Walk for Water events in collaboration with the many schools with which it partners. The small, 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. Amman Imman has drilled five sustainable sources of clean water called borehole wells in Niger, which each provide water for more than 25,000 people and their animals. The Walk events symbolize the long journeys—up to 35 miles for some—that many children in the Azawak have had to take to find water for their families.

The organization also works with villages to lead other essential development activities, such as
Amman Imman empowers women by
establishing women's cooperatives that
help them get access to materials at
lower costs and engage in revenue-generating
activities such as traditional crafts,
sewing and gardening. 
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.

This year’s three-mile Walk for Water will be held on May 10, at the Locust Grove Nature Center at 7777 Democracy Boulevard, in Bethesda, Maryland in Cabin John Park near the Montgomery Mall. The Walk itself will begin at 12:30 pm, and will be preceded by a rally and cultural festival. The cultural festival, which begins at 10:30 am, will feature hands-on activities, demonstrations, and live music that relate to the culture of the Tuareg and Fulani ethnic groups who live in the Azawak Valley. Several Tuaregs from the area will attend the Walk, and food, traditional crafts, jewelry, and other items will be available for purchase. A rally will then follow the festival at 12 pm, where a short presentation about Amman Imman’s work will be given. 

For Amman Imman, the Walk for Water events exemplify the organization’s strong partnerships with students, and in particular, schools in the Washington, DC area. Through Amman Imman’s service-learning component, called ‘Wells of Love,’ students of all ages from more than 135 schools around the world have become a driving force behind the organization’s success. These students have raised considerable funds and awareness through the Walks and other self-initiated events. 

You can pre-register online and create a fundraising page for the Walk, or register the day of the event. 

Participating students will come from schools including: the Oneness-Family School, the Barrie School, the Norwood School, the German School of Washington, DC, the Evergreen Montessori School, and several Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). MCPS students can receive up to four hours of SSL (service learning) credit for attending the event.   

Some of Amman Imman’s partner schools are also hosting their own Walks for Water this year. Those schools are: the Boyd School in Virginia, the Aidan Montessori School in Washington, DC, and the Fudan International School in Shanghai, China.


Contact:
Debra Kahn, Associate Director
Amman Imman: Water is Life, www.ammanimman.org 
7036 Strathmore Street, #111
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
USA
(240) 418-1143

“A Walk for Water”, Saturday, May 10, 10:30 am, at the Locust Grove Nature Center in Bethesda, MD


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