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.

Friday, December 5, 2008

USA Program Coordinator and Redesigned Website!

Dearest Friends of the Azawak,

I write to you from the United States where I have been living and working since September. Over the course of these last couple of months, many exciting transformations have occurred within Amman Imman: Water is Life that have strengthened our organization and increased our ability to support fundraising activities. This update tells about several of these recent developments including the hiring of our USA program coordinator, the development of our newly reconfigured website and our upcoming plans.

Catherine Wagner: USA Program Coordinator

I am pleased and proud to announce that in September we hired Catherine Wagner as our USA Program Coordinator. Over the past year, Catherine worked with me as a dedicated volunteer. In addition to her enthusiasm and organizational skills, she brings to Amman Imman her experience living in Niger as a student through a Boston University program. As USA Program Coordinator, Catherine has wide ranging responsibilities. Among these, she works directly with the Friendship Caravan President, Michael Kirtley, to maintain financial and administrative records; she supports me in my various responsibilities as the organization's leader, particularly when I am overseas; and she will serve as support and liaison to our dedicated volunteers, bringing cohesion to our work in the United States. When I am not in the United States, Catherine will be your main point of contact, and you can look forward to hearing from her directly!

Beautiful reconfigured website: www.waterforniger.org

Our website has recently been redesigned with a new look. We are extremely excited about using this enhanced site to improve our communication and outreach with you!! The site is easily navigated, and will enable us to provide frequent updates about new developments within the organization and our work in Niger. Please check the site regularly for the most recent news on our campaigns and activities, and to download resources and tools (which will be made available very soon!) to use when reaching out to your communities.


As the organization grows, our capacity for fundraising increases as well. Since I have been in the United States, I have been working on increasing the organization’s capacity as well as fundraising for our next borehole. Denis and I, as well as several other members of the organization plan on being in Niger in February to launch the construction of our 2nd borehole. We are only $75,000 short, and with the help of our new and past supporters, as well as the campaigns we have recently developed, I am confident we will raise this money by mid spring. Please look forward to hearing more about our campaigns in my next update.

Yours in Peace and Hope,


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A tribute to Dennis Hamilton, Amman Imman’s Associate Director

Dearest Friends of the Azawak,

On September 16th, Amman Imman lost one of its dearest and most devoted friends, Dennis Hamilton.

Dennis was not only Amman Imman's Associate Director, and one of the organization's greatest assets, he was also my mentor and best friend. In many ways, it is largely thanks to his love, encouragement and help that I discovered the Azawak and that the organization was created. Amman Imman's success can also greatly be attributed to Dennis' undying dedication and "contagious enthusiasm" -- as described by Julie Snorek. Dennis emanated love, peace, hope, and passion as a vector of positive change in everyone's lives. Although his person has moved on, his spirit will continue to shine and guide, and give hope and light to all of us, including the children of the Azawak.

The best way I have to tribute Dennis for bringing hope and water to his children in the Azawak, is to write to him, so that he can hear directly my undying gratitude from where his spirit lies today:

Dennis, you were whole in every possible way, from your amazing capacity to love and cherish, to your incredible intuitiveness reading into people's hearts and find good in everyone, to your extensive eccentricities and contagious enthusiasm that drew everyone that met you to you (first out of curiosity and then out of love), to your ability to BELIEVE… really believe that anything and everything is possible. To you, no fear was undefeatable or challenge too big, as life was one big adventure to live in love and hope. Dennis, my dear amazing friend, your life was a success because you knew how to LIVE and have tons of fun doing the most generous deeds while never holding back when kindness and love was concerned. You gave fully. Thank you.

As soon as you heard of the plight of the people of the Azawak, nothing could stop you as you set out to bring them hope and water and change hearts and lives with your fire. I remember your excitement after stepping out of Hull's and Kinkos, telling me that "magic" had happened. You had gone in to buy a few articles for Amman Imman, but with your fiery passion recounting the beauty and trials of the Azawak children, you came out with donated mattes, free photo prints, and 80% to 90% discounts on marketing materials. This magic happened time and time again, as your excitement and love touched the hearts of everyone that met you.

For instance, this fire burned straight to the heart of your dentist that thanks to your passion contacted his patient, the CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, which led to a $10,000 grant for Amman Imman. This same fire moved Arlo Guthrie to donate to you his Indian motorcycle in the name of the people of Niger. And most recently, thanks to your zeal, you obtained for us the website domain name "waterislife". For months I had been trying to reach the owner to no avail. I'd all but given up, when I told Debbie, "ok, we have one last option. Let's get Dennis to give this guy a call. His fire will surely move the owner to giving us the domain." Low and behold, a few days and phone calls later (made in between two hospital stays getting surgery done on your lungs – even there in the hospital, your fire burned with the most brilliant intensity) we obtained the page to redirect to our website. Dennis, your love and magic moved mountains until your very last breath.

Dennis, not only did your contagious enthusiasm move others into action, but you also worked tirelessly organizing, creating, and living for the children of the Azawak. You couldn't wait to tell me when you obtained space at the New Haven Public Library to exhibit my photos. And a friend had donated a dry mount press, that you learned how to use to reduce our costs and mount the photos yourself. This exhibit was the first of many that have all helped spread the word and garner funds. Before you passed, you were working your magic to get us space at the Yale University Art Gallery… Dennis, let's work together now to follow through and make this happen!

My dear Dennis, the list goes on, from using your magic to get Amman Imman interviewed and publicized by various media outlets (and even making numerous attempts to get us onto the Amy Goodman show), to leading the Yale Unicef students in their fundraising campaigns, to organizing major fundraiser events. Dennis, it was your dedication and tireless work for your adopted children around the world that motivated everyone to give and share in LOVE.

And true to yourself, on the tragic day leading to your departure from this world, you were working tirelessly taking down an Amman Imman exhibit when suddenly your overwhelmingly huge and generous heart was attacked. Your loved ones that sat by your side as your breathe slipped away recount how your heart burned with fiery passion and love until its very last beat.

Rest in peace, beautiful light of love. May your fiery passion and contagious enthusiasm live on as hope to the world, and may your magic continue to save and improve the lives of all your children.

Your friend, colleague, and surrogate daughter.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dennis Hamilton: A Man of Heart and Soul

Yesterday, Amman Imman lost one of its dearest friends. Associate Director Dennis Hamilton passed away. Those fortunate enough to cross paths with Dennis knew him as a devoted friend and a man who dedicated his life to peace and service. His last act was taking down the Amman Imman photo exhibit at the MurphyArts gallery in Keene, New Hampshire.

Having met Ariane Kirtley when she was a student at Yale University, Dennis was Amman Imman’s first volunteer. He helped Ariane spread awareness about the plight of the people of the Azawak, acting as spokesperson and advocate. He worked tirelessly to secure interviews for Ariane, set up photo exhibits and obtain the support of individuals, businesses and organizations.

Dennis exemplified the best qualities that as teachers we want our students to possess. He cared about people. He saw beauty and truth in others. He helped his local community. He had a global vision that he put into action. He expressed his passion to wake up the world:
We believe there are no borders between people or countries where children die of dehydration. They are all our children, our brothers and sisters. There are no borders except those we make for ourselves. – Dennis Hamilton, June 25, 2007
I am deeply honored to have gotten to know Dennis in the course of doing this work. Dennis consistently encouraged me, inspiring me to continue. It is rare that someone can see you. Dennis had the soul to see.

The Amman Imman family grieves the loss of dear, dear Dennis. Together we embrace his life, and accept the generous capacity of his heart into our hearts.

We Love You, Dennis

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Run & Rally for Water: March 22, 2008: World Water Day

Runners, Washington, D.C. locals and people interested in supporting an effort to build the next borehole well in the Azawak Valley - please come out for the Run and Rally for Water on March 22, 2008.

March 22 is recognized by the United Nations as World Water Day. The event will raise awareness about global water shortages and Amman Imman's efforts in Niger.

Runners will run one portion of a marathon - 26.2 miles. The total distance run on March 22 will represent the distance many children in the Azawak must travel to find water for their families. All runners will be wearing blue to signify the clean water our wells will tap into, deep below the surface of the Azawak Valley.

Each participant will set their own fundraising goal. The first runner will take off at 9 a.m. from the corner of Columbia and Connecticut Avenues NW. The last runner will end at that same spot around 3 p.m. A rally will take place in Dupont Circle, following the run at 4 p.m.

E-mail: laurel.lundstrom@gmail.com, for more information.
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