Dear Friends of the Azawak,
Denis, Fassely, and I returned from Niger mid-March after four grueling yet extremely rewarding months running various projects in the Azawak. With donations from individuals like you, funds raised by school children worldwide, and help from two dedicated foundations – The Vibrant Village Foundation and The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) – we constructed the borehole of Ebagueye village. The borehole will serve the needs of Ebagueye, the twelve surrounding smaller communities, as well as passing nomads and more distant populations. You can imagine our tremendous joy as we witnessed the children gulping down and jubilantly bathing in the pure borehole water for the first time.
As you may have heard, this year’s drought and current food crisis in Niger is considered the worst that there has been in a decade or more by the World Food Program (WFP), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Oxfam, and most UN agencies. According to Oxfam, six million Nigeriens need immediate food aid in order to avoid an outright famine. In the Azawak, prices for staple foods such as rice and millet have more than tripled, and most food items are unavailable on the local market. This critical situation is being exacerbated by the Tuareg rebellion in Mali, as refugees flee their homeland and seek refuge in Niger, including the Azawak. Just these past few days, Fulani families escaping Mali and its borders arrived in Ebagueye and Kijigari with thousands of livestock seeking water to assuage their thirst.
This winter, to help temper the threat of famine in our most vulnerable borehole communities, we provided food assistance to the villages of Tangarwashane and Chinwagari. As a longer-term solution to their very desperate need for food, we also ran gardening training sessions, and donated tools and seeds to Tangarwashane. The children were among the most eager planters, and thanks to their tender care, vegetables have begun sprouting from the once parched earth.
In addition to water and food assistance, we donated school books and materials to Tangarwashane, Kijigari, and to ten additional schools in rural Azawak. Before we left, we also planted 40 mango and shade trees in Ebagueye, Kijigari, and Tangarwashane.
The Niger government has been supportive of our work, and the national TV station ORTN aired a show on the construction of the Ebagueye borehole. Even the US ambassador to Niger, Bisa Williams, highly commended our activities after a visit to Kijigari and Ebagueye, and suggested we apply for funding through the US embassy.
Stay tuned to learn more about our past four months in Niger and the Ebagueye Borehole story as it unfolds in upcoming installments. Denis and I purposefully kept a low profile while we were in Niger, due to the threat of insecurity, and our desire to stay safe as we conducted our work in the Azawak. I kept a monthly, sometimes weekly journal of our activities, and I’d like to share these with you in bi-monthly installments over the next couple of months.
Sincerely Yours for the Children of the Azawak,
Stay tuned for upcoming installments about the Ebagueye borehole
and Denis and Ariane's four months in Niger!
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.