Académie Bilingue Cornerstone Raising Money To Build Schools In Niger

Académie Bilingue Cornerstone is looking to raise money to expand its schools in Niger, particularly in villages where there are no schools.

abcschools2

From the founder, Amina P. Alio, PhD:

It is said that a good education is the foundation for a positive future for all children.  Unfortunately, for many children in Niger this is not a reality.  Niger was designated the poorest country in 2015, with over 90% of the population lives below the poverty line.  Many families cannot afford school fees and supplies for their children.  The number of schools is insufficient and existing classrooms are overcrowded.  As a result, only 25% to 35% of the population in Niger can read and write, with women and girls having the lowest literacy rates.

Our mission is to move Niger forward – one school, one child at a time – through the establishment of schools that offer quality education, the powerful key that will unlock the doors to the future.

Friends of Niger does not endorse any particular religion, but we do strongly support education at all levels, and we encourage you to read up about ABC Schools and other organizations, and consider helping them help improve education in Niger.

President Issoufou of Niger Speaks at World Humanitarian Summit

UN WEB TVMahamadou Issoufou (Niger), World Humanitarian Summit (Istanbul, 2016), Member States and Stakeholders Announcements
The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit has three main goals: 1. To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles. 2. To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks. 3. To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.
Watch via UN WEB TV:

http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/mahamadou-issoufou-niger-world-humanitarian-summit-istanbul-2016-member-states-and-stakeholders-announcements/4907482981001

African Film Festival To Feature New Nigerien Movie

From March 11 – 18, the American Film Institute will be hosting the 12th annual New African Film Festival This year,  twenty films from fifteen different countries will be shown, including a very special screening from Niger.

Descriptions of these films can be found on the AFI website, but all are meant to celebrate the unique cultures of Africa. Featured this year is the Nigerien RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT, a musical drama that tackles the ambitious goal of borrowing the stylistic musings of Prince’s 1984 classic PURPLE RAIN. Featuring stunning musical performances from Mdou, the film tells the universal story of a rock star trying to overcome jealous competitors, family conflicts, the trials of love, and even his own hubris. This one-night event plays on Friday, March 18, at 7:15 PM.

Trailer for RAIN THE COLOR BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT / AKOUNAK TEDALAT TAHA TAZOUGHAI

The screening will take place at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in downtown Silver Spring, starting on Friday, March 11 at 5:00 with the Ethiopian film LAMB. Tickets will be $13 for adults (with special rates for seniors and children), and can be purchased either online here, or in-person at the AFI Silver box office.

Where: American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland

When: March 11 – 18, 2016

Link: New African Film Festival

The Camel Express: How It All Began

CEX1979.Issue2

The Camel Express, a.k.a the CEX, began 37 years ago as a newsletter typed and photocopied in Niger, then distributed to volunteers around the country. These were the days long before the Internet made it easy to get any kind of information delivered to your banko hut.

CEX1979We recently posted the first issues of the Camel Express in our CEX Archives. Beginning with the first issue from January of 1979, we have 14 issues scanned into PDFs in all their original glory.

News, stories, health tips, Hausa lessons, humor, recipes, artwork, puzzles, and games: it’s all there.

Over the years the CEX, and then our web site and FON Facebook page, has turned its focus to communicating with the entire membership of the Friends of Niger, but it’s fun to stop and look back at where it all began.

Have a look at all our past issues here:

CEX Archives: http://www.friendsofniger.org/camel-express-archives/

Enjoy your little trip down memory lane!

If you have any print issues that we’re missing and would like to share we’ll gladly scan and share them with everyone. Send us a message!

Conference in NYC: Economic Prosperity, Human Rights, and the Role of Free and Fair Elections – Case Studies Haiti and Niger

Friday, February 19 at 6:30 PM at the NYC Seminar and Conference Center, 71 West 23rd Street (6th Ave & 23rd Street)

Economic Prosperity, Human Rights, and the Role of Free and Fair Elections – Case Studies Haiti and Niger

A country’s economic development depends on its institutions: its system of government, property rights, land tenure, civil service, and justice. The Inter-Parliamentary Union notes that “In any State the authority of the government can only derive from the will of the people as expressed in genuine, free and fair elections held at regular intervals on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage”. What are causes, consequences, and lessons of a breakdown in the electoral system?

Elections are scheduled in Haiti and Niger in the very near future but the campaigns are far from free and fair. In this seminar Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon reviews the situation in Niger, and Kim Ives considers the case of Haiti.

Dr. Gladys Melo-Pinzon is the Senegal / Niger Country Specialist of Amnesty USA (AIUSA), the Amnesty International’s Section in the US and part of the global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.

Kim Ives is a journalist, broadcaster, documentary filmmaker, and an editor with Haiti Liberte.

Organized by the Henry George School of Social Science

Wells4Wellness Kicks Off Spring Fundraiser For Niger

Wells4Wellness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing safe, sanitary water wells to the people of Niger, Africa, is holding a spring walk event fundraiser. The Moline-based organization is hoping to raise enough funds to add to the drilling of the next group of 6 wells.
The fundraiser kickoff event is scheduled for Sunday, March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Milltown Coffee, 3800 River Drive, Moline.  Guests will sample American and Niger food and desserts, as well as enjoy entertainment and a silent auction. Walkers and walk teams may obtain walk information there. The event is free.
Wells4Wellness is encouraging Quad Citians to walk 10,000 steps per day and pledge pennies towards accumulated miles. Teams are challenged to cumulatively complete a 6,000 mile walk to Niger. Faith Lutheran Church, Moline, and the Reverend Mark Gherke and Parish Nurse Barb Marlin are the first walk team to sign on.
A former nurse turned Executive Director for Wells4Wellness, Pat Herath, Moline, says her many health missionary trips convinced her to help the people of Niger. “There, a child dies every 20 seconds from the effects of contaminated water. Drilling modern wells has a dramatic impact on the health and commerce of the people living in these rural desert communities,” she said.
About Wells4Wellness:

Wells4Wellness is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the health of rural Niger, Africa by drilling modern water wells. The organization has a goal of drilling 33 wells to help the people of Niger gain access to clean, safe drinking water. For further information, please visit www.wells4wellness.com or phone 309-236-1301.

Peace Corps Values – a Message From Glen Blumhorst

The Friends of Niger board would like to send out the following message from Glen Blumhorst, the president of our National Peace Corps Association,

http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2015/12/when-our-peace-corps-values-matter-most/

He talks about being deeply disturbed by the recent chorus of negative and aggressive speech targeting Muslims and refugees in our countries. He urges us to reach out, in large ways and small, to Muslims, refugees and other minorities in our communities.

Now is the time for us to rededicate ourselves to this third goal of the Peace Corps, to commit ourselves to education and constructive dialogue – to the open hand of America, rather than the closed fist.

A great reminder for the new year. Thank you and best wishes for 2016!

“Smart Tractors” in the Sahel

The Washington Post: A farmer works on a Smart Tractor with a tiller attachment in Kaduna, Nigeria. With the Smart Tractor, a farmer can knock off in one day what he could do manually in 40 days. (Jehiel Oliver/Jehiel Oliver)

A small company led by Jehiel Oliver in Anacostia, D. C., is bringing small, versatile “Smart Tractors” to Nigera and Niger

He devised a business in which farmers send a text to Hello Tractor’s U.S.-based dispatchers, who locate the nearest GPS-embedded Smart Tractor and ping the service provider. The tractors typically arrive within three days.

Read about how this new tractor and business model are bringing increased efficiency to the farmlands.

Sowing self-sufficiency in Africa with Anacostia-based ‘Hello Tractor’

Hello Tractor Website

Website of the Friends of Niger